England v Sweden latest odds, news and free bets

Steven Gerrard admitted ahead of England’s Euro 2012 opener against France that his team would be happy to take a point from the clash in Donetsk, although that won’t be the case when they meet Sweden in Kiev

This is a match that the Three Lions probably need to win in order to make the quarter finals of the competition, with Ukraine lying in wait on 19 June and the co-hosts have three points under their belts going into the match against France.

The bookies are making England firm favourites at odds of 23/20 (BetVictor free bets) to claim victory although they will have to be more offensive than Monday’s game which saw them defend increasingly deep against Les Bleus and nearly pay the price.

It will be interesting to see whether Roy Hodgson will change his team for the game, with Danny Welbeck playing pretty well against the French and the Manchester United man is an attractive 17/2 (Sportingbet bookmaker) to score the opening goal against a Sweden team who took the lead against Ukraine before losing 2-1.

Ashley Young is a certain starter and is likely to play just off Welbeck again, with many likely to back the winger at 8/1, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may well retain his place in the team after a bright debut in a competitive tournament. He can be backed at 14/1 to score the first goal of the game.

Sweden will also look upon this match as must-win considering they face France in their final game and they have a pretty decent head-to-head record against England. Erik Hamrén’s side are unlikely to sit back too much against the Three Lions and the Scandinavian side can be backed at 3/1 (Betfred) to heap misery on their opponents by landing the spoils.

The English would certainly like Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their ranks, pretty much the only Swede that would get into the Three Lions team and the Milan forward is available at 8/1 on the First Goalscorer market. The fact he likes to come deep for the ball might pull John Terry or Joleon Lescott out of position during the game.

We know that this England side aren’t full of goals, with Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker sitting in front of the defence, leaving Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain to support the front men and a bet on the 1-0 correct score looks the order of the day at odds of 6/1.

Indeed, the hunter might become the hunted, with England having to be patient and wait for an opening against a Swedish side that will make life difficult throughout. Under 2.5 Goals looks like the right bet at 4/6 and it’s hard to ignore the possibility that this game could end in a draw at odds of 12/5.

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