England will try to repeat its Euro 2012 win over Sweden on Thursday morning (AEDT). Image courtesy of mcfc.com.uk
England manager Roy Hodgson is expected to experiment with his young brigade when the Three Lions face Sweden in an International Friendly on Thursday morning (AEDT). The likes of Tom Cleverley, Jack Wilshere and even Liverpool’s 17-year-old dynamo Raheem Sterling are likely to see significant game time in Stockholm.
The youngsters have replaced some of England’s genuine weapons with Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and speedster Aaron Lennon ruled out due to injury. Forward line depth is so thin that 20-year-old Wilfried Zaha from Championship side Crystal Palace has been called in to the squad. Cardiff City’s Jay Bothroyd was the last outfield player from the Championship to be called up to an England team back in 2010. Incidentally, Zaha made his debut against Cardiff earlier that year.
England has gone 11 matches without defeat in regulation time, although they did go down in a penalty shoot-out against Italy at Euro 2012. Their run at the tournament included a 3-2 win over Sweden featuring goals from Andy Carroll, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck. That recent record masks what has been an average start to the team’s World Cup Qualifiers in recent months. Sandwiched between 5-0 drubbings of minnows Moldova and San Marino have been disappointing 1-all stalemates against Ukraine and Poland.
The Swedes have been inconsistent this year, and their efforts are probably best summed up by their last international against Germany, where they fought back from 3-0 down after 39 minutes to steal a 4-all draw in stoppage time. Prior to losing 1-0 at Wembley Stadium 12 months ago, Sweden had gone unbeaten in clashes with England since 1968. In four out of the countries’ last five encounters, England has led 1-0 at the halftime break.
Other top quality Friendlies set down for Thursday morning include meetings between Italy and France , as well as the Netherlands and Germany .
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