On this Friday night (15th June 2012) England will follow up their opening match point against a strong French squad with a strong result against the Swedish National Team. The match kicks off at 7.45 PM as opposed to Monday’s 5 o’clock kick off and can be seen on terrestrial TV here in the UK (BBC).
So who will be favourites when the English meet the Swedish at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev? Well, on paper, most would back the English to prevail, but football isn’t played on paper, and incredibly, over the last 12 competitive meetings between the two nations, England have not won once. In fact, it is 43 years since England prevailed against the Swedes. Not a good omen for the barmy army who have travelled to the Ukraine for the match. Below are some more facts and figures to whet your appetite for the big game this Friday Night.
- Each of the teams is in decent form having won three of their last five games.
- Defeat for Sweden would probably see them knocked out of the tournament in just the second of three group games.
- England have an awful record against Sweden, and haven’t beaten the Swedes in a competitive match in over 43 years.
- In spite of their bad record, England are evens favourites for the match at a lot of the bookies’, whilst you can get as much as 3/1 on Sweden to win the match.
- England may well remain unchanged from the team that grabbed a draw against France, with Danny Welbeck leading the line and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain preferred on the left to Stewart Downing.
- Defeat for England would mean that they have to beat Ukraine in their final match and hope for the other result to go their way, whereas a draw would mean that a victory against Ukraine would virtually guarantee them a place in the Quarter finals.
England fans will be anxious ahead of this match due to their awful record against Sweden in the past, but Roy Hodgson is yet to lose as manager of his country, and will hopefully lead his team to victory on Friday night. The English aren’t getting carried away, and as a country are in agreement that reaching the latter stages of the competition would be a fine performance, and with the likes of Germany, Spain and the Netherlands in the competition, a place in the final or even tournament win is probably a bridge too far for the English.
England Vs Sweden will, as always, be a fiercely contested game in Kiev, make sure you tune in wherever your allegiances lay.