Euro 2012 Predictions: England vs France. Sweden vs Ukraine

England vs France (1700GMT)

England are battling a few big injuries, along with Wayne Rooney’s suspension, leaving them short of experience in the final third for todays encounter with France.

France themselves have a wealth of options in attack, Malouda, Ribery, Benzema and Nasri should all start, and they are favourites to top the group.

England will rely on Ashley Youngs recent form, and Welbeck will most probably start
upfront in place of the suspended Rooney. 

France have been poor in recent major tournaments, although they come into this one 21 games unbeaten, and with high hopes of at least a semi-final berth.

We have seen many favourites stumble in the first round of matches, and I think this one will be a cagey affair, in which I expect the spoils to be shared.

Young and Benzema are the obvious choices for scorers, but I feel England may use set-pieces better, which means I think Chelsea man John Terry might have a chance of a Euro 2012 goal.

Prediction: England 1 (Terry) France 1 (Nasri)

Sweden vs Ukraine (1945 GMT)

It is the battle of the blue & yellow in the late kick-off, and the European Championships only debutants Ukraine have seemingly recovered from the food poisoning outbreak that they suffered in the week.

Imbrahimovic will no doubt be the main man for Sweden, but Kallstrom, Larsson, and Elm offer a lot of promise from midfield, whilst Mellberg offers some neede experience at the back.

Despite having the home advantage, Ukraine are not blesed with the talents that Sweden possess, and will have to rely on Shevchenko and Voronin, both ex-Premier League starlets, but are now both on the wrong side of 30.

I think Sweden’s quality will tell in midfield, and Larssons free-kicks may be crucial, I am backing them to win comfortably here.

Prediction: Sweden 2 (Mellberg, Ibrahimovic) Ukraine 0

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