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Group D Preview: Wayne could make a world of difference

by Rob Dore | June 18, 2012

The Lowdown…

The winner of this game will go through, though a draw will also be enough to see England progress. If the Ukraine are eliminated then that’s both hosts out of the tournament.

Match Bet…

The Ukraine looked like they might be able to ride the swell of home support to do something special in this tournament. They still might but they’ll need to improve massively from the poor showing against France and with the ageing Andriy Shevchenko as their star turn they may peaked against Sweden.

England got off to an uncertain start against France but ground out a point. They looked shaky defensively against Sweden but improved massively going forward, with three different attacking players getting on the scoresheet. With Wayne Rooney back available again they should be even more potent. In fact they will be.

If England can sort their defence out and the midfield pairing of Scott Parker and Steven Gerarrd don’t fade too early then Hodgson will keep his unbeaten run as England boss going. The draw at 23/10 will do but expect an improving England to secure the win at 5/4.

A correct score stab in the dark…

Given how ropey England’s defence was against Sweden this is a bit of risk but I’m backing England to do a professional job and see out a 2-0 win at 9/1.

A goalscorer bet to look for…

Wayne Rooney is the obvious choice at 5/1 to score first and 6/4 to score anytime. That’s too easy of course. Steven Gerrard looked a lot sharper against Sweden and he does link up well with Rooney when the two play together. Maybe it’s a scouser thing. Gerrard is a decent price at 9/1 to score first and 3/1 to score anytime with Paddy Power.




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