Wales’ two biggest stars, Craig Bellamy and Aaron Ramsey are not in the squad to face Sweden in Cardiff tonight, and that could mean a tough night for a young Welsh side
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Sweden, who are without their star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, are 6/5 (Ladbrokes) favourites to win the match, and with Hamburg’s Marcus Berg (13/2 bet365 FGS) and PSV’s Ola Toivonen (13/2 bet365 FGS) in attack, they are definitely capable of goals.
Toivonen scored a hat-trick for Sweden’s under-21s when they faced the Welsh under-21 side three years ago, and considering that many of that team will line-up for Wales on Wednesday, he will be confident of scoring at some point during the ninety minutes (12/5 Paddy Power).
For Wales the problem against Sweden will be both scoring and creating opportunities.
Robert Earnshaw (7/1 Ladbrokes FGS) is something of a journeyman striker, and against decent defences has a habit of disappearing. Neither Simon Church (9/1 bet365) nor Ched Evans (17/2 bet365) are prolific at Championship level, and so the home side’s best chance of scoring probably lies with Spurs left-back Gareth Bale (25/1 William Hill FGS), who often plays a more advanced role for his country, and who will take any set-pieces within sight of goal.
However, relying on a defender as a main goal threat is not a great situation to be in, and the Cardiff crowd may not see many goals on Wednesday evening. It is 4/7 (Blue Square) that the match contains two goals or less, and 2/1 (William Hill) that the game has a maximum of one goal is a decent price.
A 1-0 Sweden win (11/2 Blue Square) looks the game’s most likely outcome, and backing that result, with Berg scoring the goal, returns odds of 30/1 at bet365.
Sweden to win @ 6/5 Ladbrokes