Withdrawals disrupt Scotland preparations for Sweden clash

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Depleted by a raft of withdrawals, Scotland begin their friendly against Sweden as rank outsiders at 7/2 to win in Solna.

Although Sweden are the 4/5 favourites to claim victory, Scotland can take heart from the fact that they have won five of the 11 meetings between the two sides.

And the last time the sides played at Solna, Scotland were 1-0 winners. A repeat win for Craig Levein’s side is available at 13/2.

David Marshall, Lee McCulloch, Andy Webster and Alan Hutton are all injured, while former captain Barry Ferguson has opted against a return to international football.

Back in the Scotland set-up after ending his self-imposed international exile, Kris Boyd is the Scottish player most fancied to open the scoring at 8/1.

Wales vs Luxembourg
While Scotland test themselves against a Swedish side ranked 35th in the world, Wales will take on Luxembourg, who find themselves in 116th place in Fifa’s standings.

Wales have unsurprisingly won all five of their matches against Luxembourg, and when they last faced the minnows, they were 2-0 victors. Another 2-0 triumph for Wales is priced at 5/1.

As ever, Wales’ preparations have been hit by injuries and retirements, with Fulham midfielder Simon Davies the latest to quit international football during John Toshack’s reign.

His absence will be felt more acutely during the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers, as first choice midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Jack Collison are both recovering from long-term injuries.

Toshack could hand debuts to Cardiff City youngster Darcy Blake and Millwall striker Steve Morison, who is 4/1 to open the scoring at Parc y Scarlets.

Without Danny Gabbidon, Lewin Nyatanga and James Collins, Toshack faces something of a defensive crisis. Can his youngsters respond? They are 16/1 to beat Luxembourg 5-0, as they did when they first met in 1974. See the full Wales vs Luxembourg Match Betting Odds market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.