ROONEY ALL EXCITED
Sweden vs. England Preview
Friday’s second match in Group D sees England meet Sweden in Kiev. The two sides met in a friendly back in November, with Gareth Barry scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the English. That was the first time England have won this particular battle in 43 years, and Sweden have never lost in the seven competitive meetings between the sides.
Roy Hodgson’s men began their Euro 2012 campaign with a 1-1 draw against Group D favourites France. Joleon Lescott’s header gave England the lead on the half hour mark, before Samir Nasri equalised for the two times European Champions five minutes before the break. Martin Kelly is England’s only injury doubt with a virus, while Wayne Rooney serves the last match of his suspension.
The bookmakers have England as favourites for Friday’s game, with Bet Victor offering the best price of 2.25 (5/4), whilst you can get 4.0 (3/1) from Stan James for the Sweden win. The draw is around about 3.40 (12/5).
Sweden go in to this game bottom of Group D, having lost their opener to co-hosts Ukraine in Monday’s late kick-off. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had given the Swedes the lead shortly after the break with his fourth goal in four internationals, but two goals in seven minutes from Ukraine’s all-time top scorer Andriy Shevchenko turned the game on its head. Defeat here would see Erik Hamren’s side eliminated from the competition, regardless of the outcome of Ukraine’s game with France.
Five of England’s last eight matches have finished in a one-nil victory. With a tight game expected, you might be tempted to back that outcome here, with Bet Victor offering odds of 7.5 (13/2) for that outcome.
Alternatively, you might see more value in backing captain Steven Gerrard – who has scored at the last three tournaments England have participated – to open the scoring at 11.0 (10/1) with most bookmakers.
UNITED WILL BOUNCE BACK
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney said that he expects Manchester United to bounce back into league next season. The club lost the opportunity to win their 20th Premier league title this season despite the 1-0 win over Sunderland on the last day of the season.
The dramatic 3-2 win for Manchester City in the final few minutes of the patch over QPR meant that United were dramatically denied the chance to celebrate this historic achievement. It has also meant that Manchester United were without a trophy in their hands for the first time since 2004.
It has been a season of transition for Manchester United, which is the main reason for them to be unable to win the trophy according to Wayne Rooney. The striker himself has been in excellent form for the club and has scored more than 30 goals. However, he has been unable to lead them to victories in the cup competitions and the domestic league due to the lack of support from the other players. Manchester United are expected to strengthen in various areas. They have spent very less in recent seasons, which has been the reflected in the lack of strength in depth in the team.
“Sunday was a difficult day for everyone. One minute you think we have won the title, then we haven’t, which was heartbreaking. The biggest disappointment was the Everton game. To be 4-2 up — with 10 minutes to go — and to lose that lead is hugely disappointing. But there are a lot of young players in the team. That is only going to benefit them. They will learn from that. I am sure we will be back. We all believe in ourselves,” the England international told reporters after the 1-0 win over Sunderland, in which he scored the winning goal.
THIS IS THE STARTING POINT
Sir Alex Ferguson has said that the brace Wayne Rooney got in the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers would be the starting point of many goals to come in the future. Wayne Rooney has been in extremely poor form in the past few weeks.
This has coincided with the Euro 2012 ban of three matches, but it has been recently reduced to 2 matches. Suddenly, Wayne Rooney has come to life and scored two goals in the match against Wolverhampton. This has helped Manchester United to get over the disappointment of being knocked out of the Champions League by FC Basel.
Before the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wayne Rooney has gone nine matches without a goal. Of course, this has been partially due to the position he has been played in. Ever since the 6-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City, manager Sir Alex Ferguson has resorted to using Wayne Rooney as a deep lying playmaker, or as a midfielder. Even though his contributions to the team by this way has been enormous, everybody acknowledges that Wayne Rooney is the best as a striker. This has been once again proved by the match against Wolves, in which Wayne Rooney scored in both halves to give Manchester United a 4-1 win over Wolves.
“Sometimes strikers do go in spurts. I was pleased with the attacking part, it was very, very good. We could have scored a lot of goals against a Wolves team that played very well themselves in terms of their football. Hopefully that is now Wayne on one of those really good spurts of his,” Ferguson told Sky Sports after the match. In addition to Wayne Rooney, Alex Ferguson also praised the performances of Rio Ferdinand, who performed exceptionally in the absence of this long-term partner Nemanja Vidic.