England vs Sweden Preview
England: Form: DWWDW
No Rooney, No Terry, No Ferdinand and No Gerrard. Yet, there was also no problem for England as they beat world champions Spain. Well, they may have been relatively outplayed, but the style and class of the Spaniards will make that true in 99% of their games, and England defended fantastically, drilled like an Italian side.
Manager Fabio Capello has lost only six games in his tenure, four of those in friendlies. Those defeats have been against Spain, France (x2) and Brazil, not a bad list. Defeat against a fantastic Germany in the 2010 World Cup and in Ukraine in qualifying for that tournament, following an early red card, shows England are not easily beaten.
With players missing and on the back of victory over Spain it is expected Capello will experiment a little. The likes of Kyle Walker, Jack Rodwell and Daniel Sturridge are set for their first international starts, whilst Bobby Zamora could also find himself with another chance to impress Capello after numerous injuries.
Sweden: Form: LWWWL
Sweden, like this week’s opponents, have qualified for Euro 2012, although they were best second placed team rather than a group winner. They finished only three points behind World Cup 2010 finalists Holland, and beat them in the last game to end the Dutch 17-win streak in qualification games.
However, they have shown their weakness this weekend, being easily beaten by close rivals Denmark. Their recent form also shows an away loss to Hungary, not exactly a shining reference of their ability.
Stars include Mr. Self Belief aka Zlatan Ibrahimovic will captain the side, their player of most class. He will likely be joined in attack by ex-Bolton man Johan Elmander, with Sunderland’s Seb Larsson and Lyon’s Kim Kallstrom pulling strings in midfield. Experienced ex-Premiership players Anders Svensson and Olof Mellberg are also in the squad.
Match Prediction: England Win – 1.75 Stan James
England can come away from beating Spain on a high. Realistically they were not the better side, but neither were they carved open by the World and European Champions, whilst making the odd chance themselves. A wave of optimism and confidence can carry the squad into this game. Joined by youngsters and relatively inexperienced player in that squad, this England side is full of happy, hungry players.
The players in England’s squad are still of a quality most teams would be desperate for, despite the injuries to big names. Youngsters Sturridge, Welbeck, Jones, Rodwell and Walker all look capable of making an impact at this level.
Sturridge is definitely one to watch. Since his loan spell at Bolton last season the young striker has stepped up to every challenge offered to him, and must look at the Wayne Rooney sized whole with anticipation.
Over/Under: Under 2.5 Goals – 1.84 188Bet
First Goalscorer: Daniel Sturridge – 9.00 Ladbrokes
Correct Score: England Win 2-0 – 10 Ladbrokes
Article by Chris Wilkerson
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