Our resident betting expert is tipping England to beat Norway but is expecting a tight game between two defensive-minded sides, with goals at a premium.
Gerrard has scored 19 goals in 90 appearances for England and he’ll be keen to mark taking over the captaincy with a strike against Norway. The 31-year-old will also be a candidate to take set-pieces and be on spot-kick duty, so the Tipster’s opening bet for this edition is for Gerrard to score at any time at solid odds of 13/5.
Hodgson will be eager to win his first game in charge against a weakened Norway outfit who won’t be at the European championship. England have won three of their last five games, including a victory over world and European champions Spain at Wembley. Therefore, England to win on Saturday is a good bet at 11/10.
England’s last two visits to Norway have ended in stalemates, and it’s unlikely Hodgson’s side will match the exploits of Sir Alf Ramsey’s men, who won 6-1 in Oslo in 1966. Three of England’s last five games have finished with under 2.5 goals, and the Tipster is predicting the same to happen on Saturday at 7/10.
England have managed to keep three clean sheets in their last four games, and Hodgson will be looking for his defence to continue this record ahead of a difficult Euro 2012 group. England should be able to keep out a weak Norwegian attack, so England to win without conceding looks like excellent value at 12/5.
Hodgson’s men are likely to take time to embrace their new manager’s tactics, so expect England to start slowly against Norway. But the visitors should ultimately be too strong for Egil Olsen’s side. The Tipster’s audacious long-range effort for this edition is the draw at half-time but England to seal victory in the second half at a more-than-tempting 4/1.
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