Rooney returns as England look to progress
Posted on June 19, 2012 by Richard Petrie
Group D enters its final stages on Tuesday night as France and England will be looking to consolidate the top two positions. Les Bleus face a Sweden side who have yet to collect a point, while England will meet the tournament co-hosts Ukraine. With two quarter final spots up for grabs it’s left to be seen who will be facing either Spain or Italy but, of course, the main talking point will be the return of Wayne Rooney to the England side.
Rooney’s return means that one of either Andy Carroll or Danny Welbeck will lose their position in the starting line-up. Both impressed in the 3-2 win over Sweden, with Carroll opening the scoring on the night with a fine header and Welbeck deftly touching home the goal to win the game for England. Whoever is left out will surely feel hard done by after their recent exertions.
Super sub Theo Walcott was a fitness doubt for the Ukraine game after aggravating a hamstring injury but Roy Hodgson will have the Arsenal man available for selection. His efforts were integral to England’s victory over Sweden and he could be in line to start as James Milner and Ashley Young both failed to impress going forward.
Ukraine’s idolised striker Andriy Shevchenko is a fitness doubt for the hosts after suffering from a knee problem, but the former Chelsea man trained with the squad on Monday and is in line to figure against England. Oleg Blohkin’s men looked devoid of any real threat in a rain affected defeat against France and will need a much better showing from young wingers Yarmolenko and Konopylanka if they are to threaten England on Tuesday.
England are 2.10 to win on Oddslife and that looks a good bet and could be accompanied by a bet on over 2.5 goals, which is available at 1.88. England have more than enough about them to win and secure a quarter final berth.
Tuesday’s second decider sees France and Sweden go head to head with Laurent Blanc’s men looking to guarantee at least one more game in the competition. France’s win over Ukraine wasn’t the easiest on the eye as the Ukrainian skies poured down on the pitch, delaying kick-off considerably.
The French haven’t been the flashy goal scoring side that many thought they would be but they look a totally different side to the one that Raymond Domenech picked with his mystic methods. Sweden have looked very shaky at the back and will undoubtedly rely on the unpredictable Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the majority of their attacking output. That is unless Olof Mellberg continues with the prolific form he was in against England!
Sweden have been disappointing and look a good bet to join Holland and Ireland in the ‘nul points’ club on Tuesday night. The French have real quality going forward in the likes of Ribery, Nasri and Benzema, and while they may not have fully clicked yet they have still taken four points out of six. Lille full back Mathieu Debuchy has also been one of the tournaments most impressive players thus far.
France are 1.62 with Oddslife, and as with the England match, over 2.5 goals could be a good bet at 1.80. Who do you think will book dates with Spain and Italy later this week?