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England V Sweden

Well, its only a matter of 3 days now, until our opening game...

It looks like Kieron Dyer is the only doubt now after Becks declared himself 100% fit for the game.

I'm sure that Ljungberg will also play despite his 'injury' this week... psychology anyone?

I think we can win it - and not many teams go out in the group stage after winning their opening game...
 

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GOOD LUCK TO ENGLAND

Go GO GO GO

ENGLAND
 

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I really hope England can get the win on Sunday but I have some doubts. Will Beckham be on top form? I doubt he can return and immediately be on top form, but even a half fit becks can cause problems for the Swedes.
Heskey on the left = no! he shouldn't even be on the bench!
 

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Hi everyone..

Well I am a bit worried about the line up he's going to go for... With all the recent injury woes England have faced.. I read that Hargreaves is almost certain to start.. So to me it seems he's going for:

Seaman

Mills - Campbell - Ferdinand - Ashley Cole

Beckham - Hargreaves - Scholes - Heskey

Owen - Vassell..

That's what I think he's going for.. although I'd love to see Joe Cole in there for Heskey.. to say the truth.. I think Heskey should start but as a striker not a winger.. England do need a big lad to nod balls in for Owen.. But with the midfield needing patches.. this team seems the most reasonable..

Wishing them all the luck :D
 

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Heskey on the left? Left back at home would be the best choice for him :)

i'd like to see Joe cole start instead.

I think we can win.
 

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Heskey would be a lot better on the left if he ran at players, he's quick and powerful so why not use it? He spends most of his time getting back which isnt a bad thing but he should be going forward.
 

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I have a lot of confidence in Beckham. But I pray Rio will not play like an amateur.

Playing Heskey on the left is a very sensible decision.
 

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World Cup Preview: England V Sweden
England - Sweden | News Archive

England captain David Beckham will play his first game in almost two months (Allsport)
06/01/2002. BACKGROUND

Group F - the so-called Group Of Death - kicks off on Sunday and by the time England and Sweden kick off in Saitama, they will already know the score from the game between the other two nations, Argentina and Nigeria, although whether this will be any advantage remains to be seen.

The game is of course given extra spice with the fact that England's first ever foreign coach - Sven Goran Eriksson - is from Sweden, leading to cynics suggesting that he'll not know where his loyalties where lie, and at least one bookmaker offering odds on whether he'll actually sing the Swedish national anthem! Make no bones about it, Eriksson will be 100% England come Sunday.

For all England's optimism, whether it's misguided or not, the fact remains that they have only reached the semi-finals of the WC on two occasions. They won it of course in 1966 and were then knocked out by West Germany on penalties in Turin in 1990. It's a remarkable poor WC record for a nation who are always among the top five or six favourites for these finals, but often under-perform on the big stage.

Sweden in contrast have never had the high expectations tagged onto them which England have had, although in truth, this is arguably the best squad that the Swedes have been blessed with for many a long year. Finalists on home soil in 1958, where they succumbed to the brilliance of Brazil and Pele, is their best WC display, although many tend to forget that they finished third in America in 1994, losing just once throughout the entire tournament.

TEAM NEWS

England captain David Beckham declared himself fit for the clash earlier in the week after nursing a broken foot for the best part of two months. His inclusion in the midfield is a massive boost for Eriksson, especially with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Danny Murphy at home due to injury. Emile Heskey will start the game, although it's likely to be on the left side of midfield rather than in attack, where Michael Owen could well be partnered by relative rookie Darius Vassell, who has netted three goals already in his fledgling international career. Kieron Dyer has been passed fit for the tournament, although a place on the bench is more likely that a starting position against the Scandinavians. Bayern Munich star Owen Hargreaves is a likely starter and will make history by becoming the first player ever to play for England without actually playing for an English club in his career!

Sweden's only concern is over Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg, who collected a groin injury earlier this week and then limped out of training on Friday. Whilst preliminary reports suggested that he would not play, later suggestions were that he would battle through and make the starting XI. His end of season form at Highbury was awesome and he will be badly missed if he fails to make it.

PROBABLE STARTING XI's

England (4-4-2): Seaman; Mills, Ferdinand, Campbell, Cole (A); Beckham, Scholes, Hargreaves, Heskey; Owen, Vassell
Sweden (4-4-2): Hedman; Mellberg, Mjallby, Andersson (P), Lucic; Svensson (A), Linderoth, Svensson (M), Ljungberg; Larsson, Allback

FORM GUIDE

England (last six games): DDLWDD: For all the optimism currently be banded around England, largely courtesy of the media and the long holiday weekend due to the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations, it's a wake up call when you realise that Eriksson's men have won just one of their last six games - an emphatic 4-0 thumping of Paraguay. Having said that, their only defeat was a last minute one at Elland Road against Italy. Among these two games have been four scoring draws against Cameroon, South Korea, Holland and...Sweden!

Sweden (last six games): DDDDLD: Like England, Sweden have been draw specialists of late, with parity in five of their last six encounters, along with a warm up defeat at the hands of Paraguay. Again, like England they have drawn with one of the WC co-hosts, Japan in this case, although draws against Norway, Greece and Switzerland will not exactly install confidence. However, if you are going slightly out of form, best to do it prior to the big competition.

WHO'S HOT

England: Darius Vassell. Despite the English media doing their utmost to convince us that England are a one-man team, you have to look past David Beckham to find the more in-form stars at the moment, and the Aston Villa striker Darius Vassell could be set to make a shock impact in Japan and Korea. Three goals in his five internationals so far has seen him burst onto the big stage, however few people outside of the UK really know much about him. That could change over the next month.

Sweden: Freddie Ljungberg. The Arsenal star had a storming finale to their double-winning season, popping up with a number of vital goals with his difficult to stop runs from midfield. His injury scare is a major worry for the Swedes, but if he is fit and available, he will need to be watched very carefully. I wonder if he'll dye his hair yellow and blue?

WHO'S NOT

England: Emile Heskey. Should he be in the starting line-up? Ironically, the one confirmed starter at the time of writing, is one of the more out of form players in the squad. Despite being a striker, he looks set to start on the left side of midfield, but after a poor season goal wise, he has netted just three goals in his last 23 games, which doesn't install the sort of confidence needed for such a massive game.

Sweden: Nik Alexandersson. The Everton star has not had the best of seasons at Goodison Park after injuries, loss of form and a general downturn in fortunes led to a poor campaign which resulted in the sacking of boss Walter Smith. The arrival of David Moyes eased the fears of relegation, but Alexandersson never looked to find the kind of form that we have seen in the past. Maybe the WC will change his fortunes.

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS

Remarkably, Sweden have not lost to England for 34 years since losing 3-1 at Wembley. This run of nine matches includes four games on English soil, most recently last October, all of which have been drawn. Sweden's last win came in Stockholm in Sept 1998 when Paul Ince was red carded and England went down 2-1, despite taking an early lead.
Overall:
Played 18
England wins 6
Sweden wins 5
Draws 7

The nations have never met in the WC Finals, although they did play in the qualifiers for Italia 90 when both games ended goalless.

soccerage
 

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You guys are sooooo LUCKY!!!!!!:D
Sweden played the better football and England players were only hanging on their dear lives........
Nevertheless, it was an important and good result considering that England should have lost!
I think that most of you are all hoping that England haven't used up all their luck on that game........because in the next game England will need it more!
 

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England were the better team in the first half and Sweden were the better in the second. I know that if Englands defence plays the way they did in the second half we dont stand a chance against Argentina. Owen was unnoticable in the Match while Hesky seemed to make his presence known, he was unable to cross a ball from the left.
 

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Yet another disappointing England performance!:(
They actually deserved to lose in my opinion.
You cannot blame just Danny Mills for the goal though.
I strongly believe that Bridge & Ashley Cole should play on the left, Not Heskey!
Heskey did ok, but his few crosses were poor or when he got down the line he just passed it back to a player in a less positive position.
Overall, no player stood out and both teams played relatively poorly.
I think England HAD to win to qualify because the Argies will tear them apart!:(
Sweden will probably beat Nigeria and then Sweden V Argentina will be a farce, with both happy with a draw to confirm 1st & 2nd in the group. England v Nigeria will not even matter:(
 
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Don't forget, England were playing Sweden.

Sweden play

Four defenders
Three defenive midfielder
Two centre midfielders
1 attacking midfielder

i.e very defensive

England had more possession, and were attacking. When you attack, you leave the defence open. Sweden basically played lame defensive football, England didn't play through the middle because the middle was packed with Swedish players.

When Sweden defended, their formation was 4-5-1 When they attacked it was 4-3-2-1 (Still defensive). Sweden looked like they played better simply because they made two more "real" chances all because England attacked and left huge space in midfield.

Simple

England WILL play better against Argentina. Because Argentina will aproach the game different.

England don't play well against teams that aproach a game as if they are playing for a draw.
 

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England will be back home in time to watch the group of 16 games in the comforts of their own homes, unless they improve in their next and following games. They played with energy and moved the ball well, (for them ;) ), in the first half - then came out a completely different team in the second.

Nigeria did an amazing job to hold the Argentines to 1 goal. Argentina looked oh so dangerous. If they'd been playing England in that form, (and there's no reason to expect they will not), it may be a very embarrassing day for England.

Beckham was nothing - but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt and attribute that to his injury.

Owen - was he there?

Heskey - your man of the match, looked impressive

Mills - Dummy. Of course the goal was completely his fault. Panicked first with Seaman, then by serving it up nicely to Alexanersson.
 

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we should of finished the game in the first half, but actually let a inferior side back in the game in the second half.

England were playing 1960's longball football, whats the point of kicking a longball to owen who is 5ft 8" when he is getting marked by 3, 6ft+ swedish defenders. All the good teams keep possesion and they do NOT do longball passes as soon as the defence get the ball. If sven is telling the team(defence) to get the ball to vassell/owen as quickly as possible he's making a huge mistake. and this is a huge problem if they carry on doing this hideous style of play, reminds me of Liverpool.

We need a different type of striker, Vassell is good, hell just watching his footwork is enough to make the best defenders dizzy, but Vassell and Owen are too similiar to play together. I'd like to see sherringham play just behind owen, he'd force us to hold onto the ball-that is of course if Sven wants us to play like that.....

If things dont change i hate to admit it but Argentina will humiliate us.
 

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You should have finished the game with which chances? :confused:
 

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i think the english NT looked a bit too fresh on the field. Very inexperienced and sometimes didn't really know what to do after beckham left the field.

That is to say when they ain't that much better WITH becks on the field, but at least becks knew how to creat fastbreak oppertunities. The central defense was fine, quite solid with cambpell and rio in the center. Danny mills made some good runs and so did a cole. Can't really expect too much from defenders.

The most distinct errors from defense were the poor mills' chest down and coles(?) miss the ball and larsson didn't score with the space closing down quickly. Midfield was quiet, Owen Heeav (what ever spellin is) and scholes didn't win balls at all. only there to pick up some scraps. They looked a bit weak out there, heeav was fine with fastbreak but that's about it. Becks looked tire but can still break out the attack, most of the time he was clearing the ball though.

Owen was deprived from the ball, period. his inferior size had made the difference while the teammates know he couldn't really hussle it out with the 6 foot swedes. Owen couldn't have done a whole lot with the ball anyways because the ref allowed a rather physical game and i felt that he would have been hacked around by the swedes. If owen continues to solely rely on his speed to get to the ball, he won't even touch the ball against argentina.

Personally i thought vassell was the man of the match for england; he was quick and always able to recover the ball. I couldn't really make a comment on his shooting skill though, didn't really display anything but his footwork. I was surprised when the possession looked to be gone, he was able to get to the ball. One problem though is that he is a little selfish and he seems to always get backed into the sidelines, hence there is no space for the rest of the team to get involved. Possibly one of the reasons why he was subed. otherwise i am very impressed by him.

Dyer looked fresh from field but didnt do much, and joecole showed his lack of experience adn so did ashley cole in a way. Not very solid like LeSaux or southgate. But that's the choice between youth and veterans.

Mecca is looking like their savior if you asked me, oh well.
 

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The FIFA President said:
i think the english NT looked a bit too fresh on the field. Very inexperienced and sometimes didn't really know what to do after beckham left the field.

To be honest, midfield looked increasing what it was; a make shift unit, with lack of experience and in Scholes' case, heart as well. I was really peeved with his lack of performance in the second half. But all round, a disappointing game. I thought in the second half, only Heskey and Mills showed the determination to take the game to the Swedes. But lets take nothing away from Sweden. They actually deserved to win the game in the end. So we got a point, and we have to try and build on that.
What does sven do now? Does Joe Cole get an extended run?
does Dyer?
 

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I seriously believe that England played with 10 men until Becks came off. I know he created the goal, but lets face it, he should not have been playing at all. He didnt touch the ball at all, and i felt that Mills had to play that who wing.

England played the first half, and sweden the second. Sweden had more clear cut chances than England did in their respective halfs. I thought that Sweden desvered a win more than England.

Englands defence was good to me, seaman did well, the goal wasnt his fault, he was blinded by rio. Mills played good i thought, i know he caused the goal, but he played good football. Cole played good as well, not bad for a young player on the biggest stage.

Scholes looked dead, but in truth, the midfield in general was bad. Hargreaves, too young and inexperienced. he is 2 years short of a WC. but in saying that, he does show that he has the potenial, and i believe he can make that extra step now.

Joe Cole impressed me, i think he is a gun player. he is the only player who has the skill to put through balls to the strikers like a Zidane, Figo, Totti, Rivaldo, Del Piero would do.

I think that Scholes should move to the left and play Cole behind the two strikers. Scholes has played there for Man U when giggs is injured and he is a better option than playing Heskey on the left.

Heskey IMO out of form for a striker. He has the potenial to score maybe 3 goals a game. his big, fast, strong......a real threat to any defence, but he lacks abit of self belief at the moment. And playing on the left, is just making excuses for him to get back into form. He must play upfront, and when he scores his first goal for england in a WC, he will continue it throughout the tournament.

Owen.....well, i have never really thought of him to be a great striker. he is the type of striker who likes the quick counter attack, or the long ball to run on to. he is a top player, no doubt, but i think in the tight games, where defences are being applied, such as this sweden game, its not going to happen for him.

I really thought that Sheringham could have been useful in this game, he has a spark about him.

England have a long way to go if they want to compete with Argentina. but as someone said, Argentina do not play defensive liek sweden, so england might be able to benefit and play some good football.

Argentina attacked brilliantly and looks like that Batigol, Veron and a few others found some form.

Should be a good game, but i think Sven has to really look at his team for the argentina match. playing heskey, owen and vassel could be suicide.

I think a defensive approach hoping for counter attacks would be the best option. You dont want to go goal for goal with Argentina, especially when they have the likes of Ortega, Crespo and batigol on fire. Not to mention, Aimer, Gallardo, Veron, Lopez and Kily in the team and on bench.
 
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