Group D is last to play their second round of fixtures, with England and France taking on Sweden and Ukraine respectively.
Ukraine vs France
Co-hosts Ukraine were not given too much hope of qualifying from Group D, with low expectations ahead of the tournament, but they started with a plucky 2-1 victory over Sweden and now will hope to make the quarter-finals. Oleg Blokhin has been critical of his side despite their opening victory, and they will now really be tested against France.
Andriy Shevchenko wound back the clock to score a brace in the first match, and the home support will hope their veteran hero can terrorise the French backline. Andriy Yarmolenko set up one of the goals for his senior statesman and is also becoming an important man for the hosts. If Ukraine win and England draw the home team are through.
France dominated possession and territory against England in their opener, but could not make the most of this, with few opportunities created. Les Bleus’ goal came through a piece of individual skill from Samir Nasri, whilst Karim Benzema was starved of clear-cut chances.
Midfielder Yann M’Vila is back fit again, whilst there has been rumblings that Olivier Giroud may well start in attack for Laurent Blanc’s men alongside Benzema. After an initial draw, France will look to win this one to take a stranglehold on the group.
England’s first game saw them defend deep and look to hit France on the counter-attack, with this ploy working well. Joleon Lescott headed home the Three Lions’ goal and the side created a number of other chances that were spurned.
Against Ukraine however a more attacking emphasis is expected, with Roy Hodgson set to play Andy Carroll up front in partnership with Danny Welbeck. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was handed a start in the first game and impressed, whilst Steven Gerrard epitomised British grit. England will look to win to take poll position in the group.
After a 2-1 loss to Ukraine, Sweden now must get a result against England, with even a draw leaving them staring elimination in the face. Erik Hamren’s men were bitterly disappointed with the defeat after a solid qualifying build-up and preparation, and are hoping to improve in this game.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the Scandinavians goal against Ukraine and will look to inspire and fire his side to victory here. A number of players in the Swedes’ side play their club football in the Premier League, and as such will know their opponents well. A win puts Sweden back in the reckoning; a defeat and they are going home after the group stage.