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Scandinavia is far from the easiest place for the former Liverpool boss to go for his first game in charge of the Three Lions, but tipster Adam Bate expects a hard-fought victory

Roy Hodgson will take charge of his first England game when they travel to Oslo to take on Norway on Saturday.

The new boss could benefit from the unusually low expectations surrounding the national team ahead of Euro 2012.

But make no mistake – Hodgson will still be expected to get a result in a country he knows well having coached at Norwegian club Viking.

England are 11/10 (2.10) to win with Sportingbet. The draw is available at 9/4 (3.25).

The nightmare scenario for the new manager is a Norway win that would heap pressure on him just weeks into the job.

The home side are well capable of pulling off such a result. They only finished below Portugal on goal difference in qualifying, and beating Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. in Oslo. Norway are 11/5 (3.20) to win here.

A repeat of the 2-0 defeat in Norway that ruined Graham Taylor’s hopes of England success is available at 14/1 (15.00).

In the goalscorer markets, Norway’s Mohammed Abdellaoue has a respectable strike record in the Bundesliga, reaching double figures in each of his last two seasons with Hannover.

The Scandinavian attacker is 8/1 (9.00) with Sportingbet to net first.

For the visitors, the price of 8/1 (9.00) for Ashley Young to score first is a fair one given that the Manchester United dead-ball specialist has netted in five of his last eight games for England.

But it is to the other markets we must turn for the pick of the bets - and they hinge on how Hodgson will approach this one.

Consider the words of England’s James Milner on Thursday. The Manchester City midfielder said: "The lads are getting pretty clear on how we're going to set up and how we're going to play."

Asked about the manager’s impact, he added: "His thoughts when we've got the ball and when we haven't got the ball, that's the biggest thing."

This focus on drilling England to be well-disciplined will be a major feature of Hodgson’s England. And against a side that conceded just two goals at home in qualifying it points to a tight game.

The pick of the bets is to back under 2.5 goals at 7/10 (1.70) with Sportingbet.

Expect Hodgson to focus on a solid effort prior to the break before adopting a more expansive approach after the interval when substitutes can play their part.

For the Value Bet, back Draw/England at HT/FT at 4/1 (5.00).

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Under 2.5 goals at 7/10 (1.70) with Sportingbet
Draw/England at HT/FT at 4/1 (5.00) with Sportingbet

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on

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