Euro 2012 daily update: England aim to end hoodoo against Swedes
• Sweden have recalled Johan Elmander for the match tonight against England. The midfielder is one of three changes their coach Erik Hamren has made to the side which faced Ukraine. (Guardian)
• Roy Hodgson is ready to recall Liverpool striker Andy Carroll as England go for goals against Sweden. He is likely to partner Danny Welbeck up front. (BBC)
• Uefa are looking into reports that a banana was thrown on to the pitch during Italy’s 1-1 draw with Croatia. (Various)
• Steven Gerrard is confident England will finally gain their first win over Sweden in a competitive match if they emulate the performance they gave in their Euro 2012 opener against France. Gerrard said: “I would think the same level of performance against France will be good enough to beat Sweden. I would say so with all due respect to Sweden who are a good, strong team, but they are not France. I think we can be a little bit more bold and a little bit more ambitious and get at the Swedes a little bit more.” (Scotsman)
• Roy Hodgson has dismissed claims that Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will struggle to make an impact against England. The England coach said: “Maybe on some of the times he has come to England he had not succeeded when he has been built up to succeed. But that may be because he met a good team that made it hard for him to play.” (Various)
“There is no doubt if someone has a great talent, that talent will surface and will always be there. He might polarise opinion in England, but he doesn’t in Sweden.
• Defiant Italy coach Cesare Prandelli insists the Azzurri still have every chance of qualifying for the Euro 2012 knockout stages despite having to settle for their second consecutive Group C draw. (Various)
• And Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has lost his place in Italy’s starting lineup after two disappointing performances. (Guardian)
• Giovanni Trapattoni has warned Italy not to expect any favours as the Republic of Ireland attempt to bow out of Euro 2012 with pride restored. (Various)
• France coach Laurent Blanc is well aware of the threat posed by Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko. The former central defender said: “Shevchenko is someone I know well. I was lucky enough to play against him and sometimes I was not happy at the end of it because he is not easy to play against.”
• Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner faces a Uefa charge for improper conduct after revealing the logo of a betting company on the waistband of his underpants while celebrating a goal in the 3-2 defeat against Portugal. (BBC)
TODAY’S MATCH SCHEDULE
Ukraine v France
Sweden v England
Spain 4 - 0 Ireland (match report)
FERNANDO Torres dumped the Republic of Ireland out of Euro 2012 as defending champions Spain eased into top gear. The 28-year-old striker, left out of the starting line-up for the Group C opener against Italy, returned with a vengeance to spearhead an impressive display by the Spaniards.
Italy 1 - 1 Croatia (match report)
ITALY coach Cesare Prandelli has questioned his players’ lack of a killer instinct and their fitness levels in the wake of another draw in Euro 2012. The Azzurri dominated the opening 45 minutes of the Group C clash with Croatia, creating a number of chances before deservedly taking a 39th-minute lead courtesy of Andrea Pirlo’s stunning free-kick.
ONE TO WATCH - Mathieu Debuchy (France)
France’s marauding full-back Mathieu Debuchy caused England all kinds of problems in their Group D opener on Monday, forcing Ashley Cole and Alex Oxlade-Chambelain to spend much of the match on the back foot. The Lille defender is being strongly linked with a move to the Gallic-flavoured dressing room at Newcastle United, but more fine perfomances at Euro 2012 could spark a summer bidding war.
Sweden have never lost a competitive match against England. And in previous Euros they have won two and drawn one against the English. England’s November friendly victory against the Swedes was their first win against them in 43 years.
MEMORABLE GOAL OF EUROS PAST
Henrik Larsson earned a reputation for his almost freakish aerial ability during his golden years at Celtic, but this effort in a 5-0 rout of Bulgaria in Euro 2004 - coming just as he was about to leave Parkhead for Barcelona - has to be one of his best headed goals. It was the fitting end to a sweeping counter-attack, and when the cross was whipped over the Swede threw himself at it, earning Uefa’s goal of the tournament award in the process.
Mario Gomez 2/1
Fernando Torres 4/1
Alan Dzagoev 15/2
Mario Mandžukić 14/1