Survival of the Fittest
Group D: Sweden vs England
Friday, 15 June 2012
20:45 (local time); 14:45(EST); 00:15(IST)
Olympic Stadium, Kyiv
England will take on Sweden in a crucial group D encounter with both teams chasing their first win in the tournament.
England was the happier team after their game against France. They set out their stall to frustrate France and take a point from that game, and that is exactly what they did. But Sweden will be different. They will need three points from this game to avoid a must-win scenario against the hosts Ukraine in their final group game in the sweltering heat of Donetsk. England might play a more enterprising game against Sweden as the latter’s defense is not one of their strengths. The grapevine suggests that Andy Carroll might just start alongside Danny Welback up-front with Ashley Young going back to the wings and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench. Though Roy Hodgson has concerns about Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker’s fatigue, he is unlikely to rest them. He is reverting to the ‘English’ 4-4-2 to get three points from this game. Hodgson is known for the organisation of his teams but this time he will have to get out of his comfort zone to get those three points; and with Carroll up-front he is gambling a bit.
Sweden was the favourite for their game against Ukraine but at the end of the game the hosts were deserving winners. The Swedish defense failed to handle Andriy Shevchenko and suffered a bitter defeat. A defeat against England will send them packing back home. The Talisman of this team is Zlatan Ibrahimovic but he needs support from his team-mates. Johan Elmander is expected to replace Markus Rosenberg and partner Zlatan up-front. Eric Hamren’s choice of Rasmus Elm in the centre of the park surprised a few. The experienced Anders Svensson might just replace Elm and partner Kim Kallstrom in the middle of the park.
Glenn Johnson; John Terry; Joleon Lescott; Ashley Cole;
James Milner; Steven Gerrard; Scott Parker; Ashely Young;
Andy Carroll; Danny Welback;
Manager: Roy Hodgson
Mikael Lustig; Olaf Melberg; Andreas Granqvist; Martin Olsson;
Anders Svensson; Kim Kallstrom;
Sebastien Larsson; Zlatan Ibrahimovic; Ola Toivonen;
Manager: Erik Hamrén
“There won’t be wholesale changes, that’s for certain because we don’t have any injury problems and the players who did well against France are all hoping to get picked to play again.”- Roy Hodgson
“We didn’t show the courage we were supposed to. Only five or six players did. We all need all the players doing that.”- Eric Hamren