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European Championship

  • June 15, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • NSK Olimpijs'kyj, Kyiv (Kiev)
  • Referee: D. Skomina
  • • Attendance: 64640
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Sweden - England Preview: Three Lions seek first competitive win against Blagult

A loss would eliminate Erik Hamren's team from Euro 2012 following their defeat against Ukraine as Roy Hodgson faces the country in which he has won seven league titles

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SWEDEN

Isaksson
Lustig, Mellberg, Granqvist, Martin Olsson
Svensson, Kallstrom
Larsson, Ibrahimovic, Toivonen

Elmander

ENGLAND

Hart
Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole
Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Young
Welbeck


The Sweden team spokesman, Hans Hultman, has confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be fit to start against England despite missing parts of Wednesday's training session due to an injury to his left thigh.

Erik Hamren could opt to restore Johan Elmander to the starting XI ahead of Markus Rosenberg, who was preferred against Ukraine. Elmander had been recovering from a fractured foot and only returned to full training two days before Sweden's opening match in Kiev.

Many were surprised to see 24-year-old midfielder Rasmus Elm preferred to the more experienced Anders Svensson, who has won 128 caps, against the co-hosts. Hamren could re-unite the Elfsborg captain with Kim Kallstrom in the centre of the park.

Roy Hodgson is not expected to make wholesale changes to the England side that drew 1-1 with France. Danny Welbeck should continue alongside Ashley Young in attack, while James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are likely to retain their places on the wings.

Hodgson admitted to having concerns over how fatigue might affect central midfielders Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard but they are unlikely to be rested against Sweden. Jordan Henderson is the duo's obvious deputy but Milner and Phil Jones could also fill in.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Sweden eliminated England from Euro '92 in the final game of the group stage as a late winning goal by Tomas Brolin sealed a 2-1 victory.

  • The fate of Erik Hamren's team in Poland and Ukraine is hanging in the balance after their loss to co-hosts Ukraine. Defeat against England would end their hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals.

  • Olof Mellberg has now played in more European Championship finals games than any other Sweden player after notching up his 11th appearance against Ukraine. He had previously shared the record with Henrik Larsson and Fredrik Ljungberg.

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (pictured right), meanwhile, overtook Larsson as his country's top goalscorer at European Championship finals. Ibrahimovic's strike in Kiev was his fifth tournament goal.

  • England's 1-0 win over Sweden at Wembley in November last year was their first in 43 years. They have never beaten the Scandinavian nation in a World Cup or European Championship match (including qualifiers), drawing five times and losing twice.

  • Roy Hodgson began his managerial career in Sweden with Allsvenskan side Halmstad. He led the unfancied club to league titles in 1976 and 1979 and later returned to the country to guide Malmo to five consecutive championships between 1985 and 1989.

  • Steven Gerrard is the fifth England player to play at three European Championships. Tony Adams, Alan Shearer, Gary Neville and Sol Campbell have all previously achieved the feat.

  • James Milner covered more ground than any other England player against France, running 11,800 metres. Gerrard was next on 10,474 metres, with Ashley Young just behind on 10,266 metres.

Players to watch

O. Mellberg

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Sweden's reliance on Zlatan Ibrahimovic is well-known but the striker was his team's best player against Ukraine and scored their only goal. It is the AC Milan striker's team-mates that must improve and the vastly experienced Mellberg is the leader of the pack in defence. Mellberg will not have to cope with Wayne Rooney but Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck will be raring to go having received little in the way of service against France.

S. Gerrard

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Gerrard delivered a steady performance in central midfield against France and, most importantly, supplied the free-kick which Joleon Lescott headed beyond Hugo Lloris to give England the lead. Roy Hodgson will want his side to exert more control against Sweden after a defensive display against Les Bleus and Gerrard will be expecting to be involved more heavily in attacking sequences, but that will depend on the Liverpool talisman gaining a foothold in the centre of the park early on.

Editor's Prediction

England's mixed record against Sweden has been well-documented and Roy Hodgson's team could find things more difficult when asked to take the initiative in a match having been able to adopt a defence-first approach against France. They must subdue Zlatan Ibrahimovic if they wish to secure three points, which will be no easy task. The striker looks a more mature player coming into this tournament.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Sweden

England

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Sweden SWE
Sweden Sweden
Draw
England ENG
England England
20%
15%
65%

Top 3 Predictions

Sweden SWE
1 - 2
England ENG
Sweden SWE
0 - 2
England ENG
Sweden SWE
0 - 1
England ENG

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