Euro 2012 Daily Double: Expect wins for France and England in Group D
Adam Bate expects the Yellow-Blues to be flagging after Monday's exertions and lose to Les Bleus, while the Three Lions should take advantage of the desperate SwedesIt was a truly magical night for Ukraine in Kiev on Monday when Andriy Shevchenko lifted the nation by scoring twice in the second half to turn things around against Sweden.
The outpouring of emotion was a joy to behold. But in the cold light of day, physically it will have taken a lot out of them – not least the 35-year-old Shevchenko, who played for 81 minutes.
The emotional energy expended must have been significant too and it could prove difficult to raise it again. But raise it they must – because for nearly an hour against Sweden they were poor.
France will prove a tougher test and will try to starve Ukraine of the ball just as they did with England.
Although Laurent Blanc's men were forced to accept a draw in their opener, it was easy to get the sense that the game would have been won if only they had committed more men forward.
Technically, qualification will be out of France’s hands if they draw on Friday, so expect Yohan Cabaye and the full-backs to get involved more in the final third and bring Ukraine back down to earth with a bump.
France to win at 11/10 (2.1) with Paddy Power
Sweden contrived to lose their opening game despite taking the lead. Some slack marking from crosses cost Erik Hamren's men dear and Roy Hodgson could look to exploit that on Friday.
He has the option of moving Ashley Young wide and introducing Andy Carroll as a target-man in the centre and – although a simple tactic – it could reap dividends against this Sweden side.
England, for their part, appeared content to settle for a draw against France in Donetsk on Monday, playing risk-free football.
But the fact that they got that draw leaves England in a stronger position to play a reactive game once again against the Swedes.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Co. will feel they need to risk losing in order to try to win and that is a strategy that could play into England's hands.
The Three Lions have the players to keep things tight before the break and then hit Sweden on the counter as the game opens up through the likes of Danny Welbeck, Jermain Defoe and Theo Walcott - and that could be enough to win this one.
England to win at 11/10 (2.1) with Paddy Power
Back France and England in a Double at 17/5 (4.4) with Paddy Power
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter
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