Ukraine vs France (1700 GMT)
France play the hosts in their own arena as they travel to Donetsk on Friday, looking to upset the odds, and put a foot into the Quarter-Finals.
Ukraine came from behind to beat Sweden on Matchday 1, a double from the national hero Andriy Shevchenko putting them top of the group, as the French shared the spoils with England.
With 15 shots on goal in that match, they will be annoyed not to have won it, and I am backing them to make up for that in this game, and a win could well put them top of the group going into the final game.
Yann M’Vila is back for the French, adding some much needed guile to the centre of the midfield, and will most probably replace Diarra should he be selected.
France could afford to draw this game, a result which will favour both sides, but Ukraine will be thinking about the fact that a win would guarantee them a place in the final 8.
The French have now gone 8 games without a win at major tournaments, an unthinkable record for a nation of their stature, and im backing them to sneak this game by the odd goal.
Both Teams to Score @ 10/11
Cabaye AGS @ 5/1
Draw-France @ 15/4
France to win by 1 goal @ 13/5
Prediction: Ukraine 1 (Shevchenko) France 2 (Benzema, M’Vila)
Sweden vs England (1945 GMT)
England were criticised in their draw with France, for being too negative, despite taking the lead, and having chances to extend it. Ukraine’s turnaround against Sweden on Matchday 1 would not be to Englands tastes, as the Swedes will now have to attack and attempt to win the game, or face almost certain elimination.
Zlatan Imbrahimovic was the shining light of that game, although the manager branded most of the team an embarrassment, as stars such as Elm, Larsson, and Kallstrom were made to ordinary at best.
Englands midfield is weakened, but will have to be at their best as no doubt Sweden will give more than they did against Ukraine, which means sticking as a unit, and bringing Young and Oxlade-Chamberlain into the game as much as possible.
Sweden have conceded 6 of their 7 goals from headers, and with England almost totally reliant on set-pieces without Rooney, expect that tally to rise come the weekend.
I backed the England-France draw, and had Terry to score from the set-piece instead of Lescott, but I think Terry will have his chance on Friday, especially with the expert crosses from the likes of Gerrards that Lescott got on the end of vs France,
Also, expect the long haired locks of Andy Carroll to get a start, or at least 45 minutes, it would be criminal not to with the defensive frailties of Sweden.
England to score in both halves @ 9/4
England to win by 1 @ 3/1
John Terry AGS @ 8/1
England HT Draw FT @ 14/1
Prediction: Sweden 0 England 2 (Terry, Young)
By Brad Smith
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