Norway v England latest odds, news and free bets

England have just two matches to prepare for Euro 2012, with the first of these taking place in Oslo where Norway will pose a stern test of the Three Lions’ credentials on Saturday evening

Roy Hodgson will field what is largely a reserve team for the international friendly considering that the Chelsea players such as Ashley Cole, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard will be sitting out this contest. The same goes for suspended forward Wayne Rooney.

It means the manager can look at some fringe players in the squad, with Robert Green between the sticks and Andy Carroll in attack, while the defence is likely to include Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines from Everton.

Despite this experimental line-up, England are warm favourites at 6/5 (Paddy Power free bets) to claim victory against the Norwegians, something which would be a nice but not essential confidence booster ahead of next Saturday’s home match against Belgium.

Hodgson has conducted two training sessions with his selected England squad, with Martin Kelly and Phil Jagielka being brought into the set-up thanks to Chelsea’s Champions League involvement, while John Ruddy unfortunately misses out with injury.

Steven Gerrard will be one of the first-team players on the pitch from the starts and can be backed at 8/1 (Blue Square) to score the first goal of Roy Hodgson’s England managerial career.

Andy Carroll will be looking to stake his claim in the team after Hodgson confirmed that the Liverpool forward would be picked right from the start and odds of 13/2 are on offer that the Geordie scores the first goal, while Ashley Young looks a decent price at 9/1.

Norway will be out to make life difficult for their Euro 2012-bound opponents and it is often easier to play well when there is no pressure to perform, with the bookies offering 11/4 (Sky Bet) about the Scandinavian side.

A makeshift defence will have to be on their card against the talented Mohammed Abdellaoue who is an 8/1 chance to score first, with Tarik Elyounoussi also a similar price for the home side.

Norway actually finished level on points with Portugal in their Euro 2012 qualifying group and that included five wins from their eight matches and a 1-0 win over the Portuguese which meant Denmark ended up winning the group.

The home side do look an attractive price to avoid defeat in this game and the draw looks a tasty option at 12/5 considering it’s an outcome that often happens in friendlies when there are lots of second half substitutions and managers looking to try different things out.

A 1-1 correct score can be backed at 6/1 (Blue Square), with next Saturday’s game against Belgium one in which we can practically expect to see Hodgson’s first team in action.

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