England Line Up Against Sweden. Euro 2012 Preview.

Roy Hodgson received some criticism for England’s defensive approach against France on Monday. The match ended 1-1 with France have 65% possession and registering 21 shots compared to England’s five. Personally I’m not shocked that England played that way. France were always going to have more of the ball and in past England have been guilty of not defending as a team. It was a solid performance and one that, whilst sounding cliché, they can use as a platform.

Their next match is against Sweden and there have been calls for England be more attacking against them. I honestly think it was Hodgson’s intention to remain solid and contain France and then play more aggressively and offensive in this match. It was important not to lose the first match and while we would all like to see England beat France 3-0 that was never going to happen. Hodgson is a realistic manager and knows the limits and potential of his squad. His first aim was to impose the shape and structure that he wants into the team. Once that is ingrained into the players the next goal is to add an attacking dimension. In this game we should start o see that.

Possible England line up against Sweden.

  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain preformed well against France, he added a bit of flair to the line up but his influence on the game started to fade in the second-half. Hodgson may want to use his pace and directness late in the match as an impact sub. Ashley Young should replace him on the left-wing.
  • Up front Danny Welbeck will be expected to start but with Ashley Young moving to the wing he will have a new partner in attack. Either Jermain Defoe or Andy Carroll. I’d like to think Hodgson will start with Defoe as he is more mobile than Carroll. Carroll is more of a physical presence but as Hodgson said in a recent press conference England need to be more clinical in front of goal. With that in mind, Defoe would be the favourite as he is a more natural finisher then Carroll. A partnership between Welbeck and Defoe also seems a more natural fit then having Welbeck and Carroll.
  • Carroll is the more likely candidate to start against the Swedes. He and Welbeck went through a series of drills together during England’s training sessions. His height is an advantage as Young and Milner will look to exploit the space on the flanks that Sweden left open against the Ukraine. Sweden’s defenders are physical themselves and Carroll’s strength will see him start ahead of Defoe.
  • There are question marks over the fitness of Gerrard and Parker. Parker looked exhausted after 78 mins and was replaced by Henderson. Hodgson has said he will assess the freshness and fitness of his players before naming his starting eleven. Parker is expected to start but if not than it could see a start for Jordan Henderson or James Milner could moved infield. Milner covered more ground than any other England player against France (11,800 meters) and that sort of industry could be useful in the middle of the park.
  • If Milner starts in the middle then expect Walcott to start out on the right.
  • England really lack a playmaker in the middle of the park. A player in the mold of Pirlo, Modric or Xavi. That is why England look like they lack ideas in the middle of the park. The role of creator will rest on their captain Steven Gerrard. He is not a natural playmaker and is more of a box-to-box style midfielder. But he does still have the ability to split the defense with a pass or switch the play with cross field balls. England’s performance will be linked to how well he plays.
  • One of the biggest problems for England could be compliance. Sweden’s Andres Svensson has stated that arrogance is a reason why England have not beaten them in their past seven competitive internationals.    “I just think maybe you think you are a little bit better than you are – but we are a little bit better than you think we are. Obviously, you have big names, big players. You have a great team, but I think you don’t think that much about the Swedish team and never have. We are a good team, on the same level as England, and have been for a long time.”       I think there is some truth in this statement.
  • Both teams are very similar in terms of their play. Both like to defend with two solid banks of four and that could see the game become quite dull at times. The big difference between the two is that Sweden have their star man, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on the pitch whilst England will be missing Wayne Rooney who sits this game out due to suspension. Ibrahimovic is a player that divides opinion in England, but despite what you think of him he is a player that can win a match all by himself.

4 responses to “England Line Up Against Sweden. Euro 2012 Preview.

  1. I think you are basically right. The back four will be the same. Unfortunately i think he will start with Carroll instead of Defoe, which despite being a massive Spurs fan, i think is wrong. Defoe has shown that he can score goals every season but unfortunately for him its so often coming off the bench. The guy has great energy levels, and it has amazed me how much he is under used by so many managers over the years ( well mainly Redknapp). Give him at least the first 60 minutes and i am sure given the service from the midfield he will do well.

    The Defoe/Welbeck partnership would be an exciting one and again with the proper link up play from the wings and from Gerrard would be fruitful. However Hodgson for me is going to go for Carroll and Welbeck, and use Defoe as a sub. So that’s what he will go for, but persnally despite the excitement of a Defoe/Welbeck front two, the perfect starting couple for this game would be little and large – Defoe and Carroll. I just think their games would compliment each other better, and i feel Defoes overall experience would be vital in a game of this magnitude.

    I think Parker is reaching fitness and although he looked a bit scrappy in the first half on Monday, he put in a good performance int he end and came out shining. His relationship with Gerard will be crucial in this game. Parker is like a little bull terrier in the heart of midfield as he has proved all season. He covers a lot of ground, but lets not forget he can be a great playmaker too, splitting defences with timely passes and he is always hungry. Before he was at Spurs, he used to score more goals; this is not something he’s in this team to do, but he can hit them and don’t be surprised Parker at the edge of both boxes, especially if we go one down. I’ll have a fiver on Parker to score – he’s got to soon!!

    I agree that Young will probably be moved out, but please can someone tell me why we persist in Milner. I don’t think i am the only one, but can we please get rid of him. I don’t see the point in him when we have better talent on the bench that can easily fit into that position. In my opinion anyone from any position could be better than James. Is that just me?


    • I was weighing up whether to choose Defoe or Carroll in the starting line-up. Something tells me he’ll go for Carroll as well but I would go for Defoe. Sweden’s defenders are pretty physical themselves so Carroll could be used to keep them occupied and he seems more like a player that suits Hodgson’s system more then Defoe.
      I rate Milner, well I used to anyway. When he was at Aston Villa I used to think his guy will be the next Scholes. But since he went to Man City I don’t know what’s happened to him. Mancini seems to have turned him into some sort of utility player. Now even he doesn’t know where his best position is.
      Parker will never score a goal. Actually his story is similar to Milner. A player that started off as a more attacking player but then changed his game when he wasn’t getting into sides. He left Chelsea went to Newcastle and turned into some sort of midfield destroyer. I don’t think he knows how to attack anymore. Sure he can tackle but I don’t see him contribute anything to the attacking play. I often saw him look lost when he got into the final third for Spurs. I don’t recall him ever setting up a goal yet alone score one. I’d still pick him but only cos there’s no other option. I would have chosen Carrick in my England squad and made him my main man. But that’s another issue.
      Maybe Phil Jones will make an appearance at some point in midfield. But only if England are in the lead. In the end I reckon Sweden and England are pretty similar. It’ll most likely end up as a draw or there will only be a one goal margin between them. It’ll be tight.

  2. SO he is my team i would like to face Sweden


    It won’t be this though!!

    • Team that I would have started if I picked the squad (I’m not including the players that got injured) 4-2-3-1 or can turn into 4-3-3.
      Cole, Lescott, Ferdinand, Johnson
      Parker, Carrick
      Young, Rooney, Milner

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