With domestic football making way for international matches at the weekend, there are still plenty of high-profile clashes for fans of British football to get excited about. As well as the matches involving England, Scotland and Wales, Denmark versus Sweden is brimming with familiar names from the British domestic game to catch the attention of Premier League and SPL fans.
For the home side, Sunderland’s Arsenal loanee Nicklas Bendtner is joined in the squad by Liverpool defender Daniel Agger, Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, Manchester United stopper Anders Lindegaard, ex-Everton, Blackburn and West Ham right back Lars Jacobsen, former Liverpool midfielder Christian Poulsen and ex-Charlton winger Dennis Rommedahl.
Sweden’s squad contains Blackburn’s Martin Olsson, West Brom’s Jonas Olsson, Sunderland’s Seb Larsson, former Southampton playmaker Anders Svensson, ex-Bolton players Christian Wilhemsson and Johan Elmander, one-time Man City ‘keeper Andreas Isaksson, Villa legend Olof Mellberg, former Wigan man Andreas Granqvist and Celtic centre back Daniel Majstorovic.
Add to this the household names that are Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kim Kallstrom and Christian Eriksen, and it is a fixture that could hardly be more familiar to British football betting fans.
Bendtner might have his critics in England but a scoring record of 15 goals in 43 internationals for Denmark is not to be sniffed at. He scored in Denmark’s last outing against Portugal and he can be backed at 7/5 to score in this one.
His Sunderland teammate Larsson has scored in Sweden’s last two matches and has also found the net three times in the Premier League this season. With his scoring record and his superb ability at set pieces, odds of 13/4 on him finding the net against Denmark look like great value.
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Of the other players with Premier League links, Elmander, who has scored 16 in 60 international appearances, looks good value to score a goal at 9/4, while Anders Svensson is 11/2 to add to his 18 international goals in this one.
As for the match itself, Sweden go into it having qualified automatically for Euro 2012 as the best second-placed team following a hugely impressive 3-2 win over the Netherlands last month. On top of this, they have only lost one match in the whole of 2011, a run that has seen six away wins in eight games – so odds of 12/5 on an away win are sure to temp a lot of punters to take a chance.
Denmark, however, are fresh from qualifying for the Euros as group winners ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal side, and this explains their position as bwin’s favourites at odds of 23/20, while the draw is 9/4.
However, in keeping with the British theme of this article, Denmark lost friendlies to both England and Scotland in 2011, and maybe this suggests playing against a British style doesn’t suit them.
With so many players in the British mould likely to feature for the away side on Friday night, Sweden will definitely fancy their chances.
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