Euro 2012: England v Sweden preview
- Fri 15 Jun 2012, 12:33PM
- Posted by David Clayton
While the Swedish media mock-up possible headlines about England losing this evening, Roy Hodgson’s side will be hopeful of having the last laugh.
Though England will start as slight favourites, the Swedes’ phenomenal record in this fixture – one defeat in the past 13 meetings – suggests it will be a close affair.
Andy Carroll is likely to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in attack, with Hodgson keen to exploit the aerial frailties shown by the Swedes during the 2-1 defeat to Ukraine, but barring any injury problems, it is likely to be the only change from the team that drew 1-1 with France.
Sweden can’t afford to lose this game with the French still to play, but if Carroll is used as a battering ram, they could find themselves playing a dead rubber against Les Blues
...England v Sweden
“They have conceded a lot of goals off crosses,” noted skipper Steven Gerrard. “It’s an area we will be trying to concentrate on. We have some wonderful crossers in our squad. It’s one area of weakness, but there are others as well.”
City will be well represented again with Joe Hart, James Milner and Joleon Lescott seemingly certain to start, though Hart will hope he fares better against Sweden midfielder Sebastian Larsson than he did when the last the pair last met at club level – Larsson scored twice in a 3-3 draw between City and Sunderland in March.
England will also be wary of a player Roberto Mancini ranks among one of the best in the world – Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who scored against Ukraine.
Former City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson summed up perhaps why the Swedes traditionally do so well against the English. He said: “Sweden is a very tough opponent. It is in the heart and soul of every Swede to make life miserable for England.
“It’s like a derby to them and that makes Sweden a nasty rival.”
Kick-off is 7.45pm and there are still tickets available to watch the game at City Square if you fancy a drink, some food and the experience of watching the match with other England fans.