England vs Ukraine betting preview
Ukraine: Group Position: 3rd, Form: WLLWL
Coming into the final game of the group stages needing a win to qualify is probably a situation the co-hosts Ukraine are actually rather happy with. France are certainly a very good team, and they will have known they could quite easily have lost their two opening games and be out at sea right now. Instead they go into Tuesday’s game still full of confidence and backed by a thoroughly excited and eager support.
They had their moments against the French, but were comprehensively beaten in the end, and it could have been more than 2-0. Whilst the national fervour carried them through the game against Sweden, along with Andriy Shevchenko rolling back the clock, but against a team of class and pedigree like France they did not have enough to claim any points.
This may again be the case against England. Catalyst and hero Shevchenko may fail to start the game due to fitness problems, although he will undoubtedly play some part in what could be his last ever match for Ukraine.
England: Group Position, 2nd: Form: LWWDW
England held their positions and defended stoutly to take a point from their opening game with France, then did the complete opposite to win 3-2 with Sweden. A side that looked best set to grind out results was suddenly let loose by Roy Hodgson, who threw caution to the wind after his side conceded two soft and sloppy goals.
But then Hodgson changed things, throwing on Theo Walcott who scored one and set up another with blistering pace, a goal finished superbly by Danny Welbeck, a striker who is looking completely comfortable at this level. Andy Carroll was used to superb effect, scoring a wonderful header against a team fragile to balls in the box, but his contribution could never be enough to keep his place, as now returns England’s best player – Wayne Rooney.
Rooney is England’s real world class talent, and as such his place was pretty much guaranteed. Against the weakest team in the group (although not by position) Rooney could flourish, and will certainly enjoy renewing the wonderful club partnership he shares with Welbeck, and just might be the man to get Ashley Young back on form.
Match Prediction: England Win – 2.25 Bet Victor
For all the support Ukraine have, and all the negativity that swirls around England, the co-hosts do not have anywhere near the quality the English do, and for that reason it is hard to look beyond them. Roy Hodgson’s side have shown weaknesses and strengths in every area, but also a team spirit unlike an England side since 96. The comeback against Sweden showed resolve, and against Ukraine and their support that resolve will be tested again. Ukraine’s desperate need of a win will suit England’s ability to counter, and that home support may help them too. In recent times they have been an away side, better away from the pressure of their own fans, and maybe they can thrive again here.
The big names to talk about are Rooney and Shevchenko. The latter may be injured, but the former will attract a lot of attention. This may put some value on other first goalscorers.
Over/Under: Under 2.5 goals – 1.91 BoylesSports
First Goalscorer: Danny Welbeck – 8.5 Paddy Power
Correct Score: 2-0 England – 12.00 188Bet
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