England Lineup v Ukraine. Euro 2012

Possible England lineup v Ukraine

The final matches in Group D sees England take on co-host nation Ukraine. England have 4 points and Ukraine 3 points. Whoever wins this game will progress to the next stage while a draw will be enough to see England go through. England will try to finish to on top of their group to avoid a match with Spain. But their thoughts will only be on beating Ukraine, it’s unlikely Roy Hodgson or his men are thinking too far ahead after their recent performances in major tournaments. Here’s what to expect from England tonight:

  • Wayne Rooney returns after his two match suspension. Some pundits have speculated that Hodgson may choose to start with Rooney on the bench but the England manager has given strong hints that he is going to start with the Manchester United striker. He is expected to act as a link man between the attack and midfield something that has been missing in England’s last two games.
  • England will start off in a 4-4-1-1 formation but it can easily change to 4-3-3 with Rooney dropping into midfield with Gerrard and Parker allowing Young and Milner to push forward.
  • Andy Carroll is expected to make way for Rooney which is a shame for the Liverpool striker as he took his goal well against Sweden but Hodgson may feel that there is no need to use Carroll’s physical and height advantage against the Ukrainians as they are not as strong defensively as the Swedes.
  • Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck have formed a good understanding with each other from their time together at Manchester United. Hodgson will be hoping they can repeat that for England.
  • Theo Walcott had a fantastic impact when he came on against Sweden but it seems it wasn’t enough to earn him a starting spot. Hodgson will most likely start him on the bench and look to use him as an impact sub. That means another start for James Milner who has put in two workman like performances so far but has yet to convince the English fans that he is deserving of a starting spot. He will again be picked because of his ability to maintain the defensive structure of the side.
  • Sweden scored two goals from two set plays so Hodgson will have highlighted those issues and worked on them all week. Look for a more dominant performance from John Terry who will be expected to marshal the defense better than he did against Sweden.
  • The two goals also came from two needless and silly fouls in dangerous areas. England will need to be more disciplined with their challenges in and around their own penalty area.
  • Ukraine can be perceived as the easy beats of this group but they are the home team and that makes them dangerous. They need a win to go through just as England do and will be determined to perform in front of their home fans. They can not be underestimated.
  • Ashley Young may keep his spot on the left side of midfield but he will need to improve on his last two performances. He also has formed a good understanding with fellow United boy’s Rooney and Welbeck and that should help him return to form against Ukraine. Otherwise Oxlade-Chamberline  is another option. Young should see more of the ball with Rooney returning to the line-up as he will drop deep to get the ball and that will help Young to burst forward when counter-attacking.
  • After two fairly average performances from England they will be hoping the return of Rooney can improve their overall play and give them some confidence of going even further should they make the quarter-finals.
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