Euro 2012 Predictions: England vs Ukraine, France vs Sweden

England vs Ukraine (1945 GMT)

It is the final piece of the quarter-final jigsaw today, as Group D battle it out. France and England both know that a draw will put them through, whilst Ukraine need to beat England in front of their own fans to put themselves in the last eight.

Buoyed by the return of Rooney, it seems either Carroll or Welbeck will be dropped, despite both scoring in the defeat of Sweden on Friday.

Walcott is passed fit, which makes him odds-on to start in front of James Milner, who has had a torrid tournament so far by my reckoning.

The national hero Andriy Shevchenko is rated at 50-50, and should he be missing, I think Ukraine will have a gigantic task getting anything from the game, let alone winning it, he has had over half of the teams shots on target this tournament so far.

The future is definitely bright for England, all three of their scorers against Sweden were under 24, whilst on the other end of the scale, Shevchenko became the oldest player to net a brace in a major competition since the 38 year old Roger Milla in World Cup 1990.

If England win this, I think there is a big possibility they could top the group, and should they want to go anywhere in this competition, I think they will have to show what they are about today.

The bookies have overpriced England a bit in my opinion, and after a great day of betting yesterday, here are todays tips. I also have 3 out of 3 HT/FT predictions correct, and am going for the fourth tonight

England to win @ 11/10
Draw HT England FT @ 4/1
England to win by 1 @ 3/1
Score Draw @ 10/3

Prediction: England 2 (Young, Rooney) Ukraine 1 (Nazarenko)

France vs Sweden (1945 GMT)

The Swedes face being eliminated on nil points, but will but up a decent test for the French tonight, who know a win should leave them topping Group D.

Malouda looks like being dropped again, as Menez was quality throughout against Ukraine, whilst Yohan Cabaye has a slight niggle, which may been Yann M’Vila replaces him.

France have to be aware that Sweden led in both previous games, despite losing them both, and they won’t want to make that three.

Sweden have also scored in every match they have played under the boss, so the French cannot afford to just turn up and expect. They will have to work for their victory tonight.

The French should go all out for the win, as realistically, a loss will not put them out, providing they don’t lose by more goals than England lose by, should Ukraine beat England.

I am backing the French to win this one though; they have more class, and will want to top the Group and face Italy, rather than World and European Champions Spain.

Draw HT France FT @ 10/3
Score Draw @ 15/4
Mexes AGS @ 11/1
France to score both halves @ 7/4

Prediction: France 2 (Giroud, Mexes) Sweden 1 (Larsson)

By Brad Smith

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