Euro 2012 Preview: Sweden vs England

By:
Subscribe to Oneindia News

Euro 2012 Preview: Sweden vs England
Kiev, Jun 15: Group D second round kicks off as England look to boost their quarter final chances when they take on Sweden at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

In their opening matches, the Lions managed to earn a point against the more dominant French side while veteran Andriy Shevchenko's double helped Ukraine comeback to beat Sweden 2-1.

England, the most hyped team in the tournament, have come into Euro 2012 with numerous problems in the squad. Prolific striker Wayne Rooney's two match suspension, Rio Fernindand's snub, injury to key players (latest injury scare to Scott Parker) and questions have been raised about Roy Hodgson's tactics.

England's decision to sit back and soak up pressure cost them after Samir Nasri's shot flew past Joe Hart, who for most part of the game denied the French in front of goal. John Terry and goal-scorer Joleon Lescott have kept things tight but their overall organised defence has looked hard to break

However, England were satisfied with a draw after holding off waves of attack from the Les Bleus, but remain optimistic against the Swedes who are in a must-win game to survive in Group D.

Hodgson has hinted he will pair Danny Welbeck and Liverpool striker Andy Carroll upfront to strengthen their aerial attack including flying wingers across the flanks to deliver perfect crosses into the box.

"In all the clubs I have worked at I have always done a lot of work on players getting in crossing situations and movement for crosses. Let's hope the message we are trying to put across will help us in that area because if we are going to get behind a team like Sweden, who are very compact centrally, there is no doubt getting down the wings and in behind them in the wide areas will be an important facet of our play," Hodgson was quoted as saying in ESPNsoccernet.

On the other hand, Swedish players have been criticised over a training-ground game which also witnessed players taking turns to fire shots at goalkeeper Johan Wiland's exposed backside. Players denied bullying allegations claiming it to be a training routine with a bit of fun.

A loss against England will certainly risk their chances of qualifying. In a Group including former champions France, co-hosts Ukraine and England, the Swedes clearly looked the better side on paper against the co-hosts but it can't get worse than conceding two goals in just seven minutes.

Shevchenko's double header cancelled out Swedish captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic's opening goal. The AC Milan striker has been playing in a more orthodox role to dictate Sweden's forward move. Coach Erik Hamren has the option of Johan Elmander, who played the last 10 minutes in the defeat, to play upfront with talisman Ibrahimovic.

With additional attacking forces, both teams will eye nothing less than a victory but their defensive line will be severely tested with tall strikers Welbeck, Carroll, Ibrahimovic and Elmander.

Although England are highly favoured to progress to the next round, the Lions beat Sweden 1-0 after 44 years in November having drawn in the World Cups of 2002 and 2006.

Without Rooney, injury scare to Parker, few goal-scoring attempts, Hodgson will be forced to rely on his back-line that has seen them concede just once in three games. A close encounter is expected as both teams are expected to push for a win.

PROBABLE LINEUPS:

Sweden: Isaksson-Lustig, Mellberg, Granqvist, M Olsson-Svensson, Kallstrom
Larsson, Ibrahimovic, Toivonen-Elmander.

England: Hart-Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole-Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Young-Welbeck, Carroll.

OneIndia News

Please Wait while comments are loading...