UEFA EURO 2012 Team Preview – England

Population 51.4 million Area 130,843km2 Capital London Currency Pound Official Language English

FOOTBALL FACTFILE

Football Asocciation The Football Association (FA) Official Site http://www.thefa.com Year of formation 1863 Euro Ranking 4 World Ranking 6 National Stadium Wembley Stadium, London Well-known club sides Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United Leading goalscorers Sir Bobby Charlton (49), Gary Lineker (48), Jimmy Greaves (44) Most capped players Peter Shilton (125), David Beckham (115), Bobby Moore (108) European Championship finals attended 1968, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 Best European Championship performance Third (1968, 1996) Playing Record in European Championship P113 W63 D31 L19 Odds of winning UEFA EURO 2012 12/1

JOURNEY TO POLAND/UKRAINE

Finishing top of Group G, six points clear of second place, on paper it appeared a successful qualification for England. The truth, however, is that the campaign was tarnished by a number of poor performances against sub-par opposition, including Montenegro, Wales and Bulgaria.

Though never outstanding and at times misfiring, the Three Lions, remained unbeaten in the group, only conceding five goals over the course of their eight games – a solid defensive foundation that will be of considerable importance when heading to the Championships. Losing a couple of key players to injury during qualification gave Fabio Capello the opportunity to juggle his players, but no-one thought he would do so to the extent of using 30 different squad member. In fact, Joe Hart and the ever-reliable Ashley Cole were the only two players to be involved in every fixture.

Whether bravely eschweing the usual characters or simply learning on the job, Capello did succeed in showcasing an exciting new Bulldog pack, many of whom look ready to fill the shoes of the heavily criticised, underachieving ‘golden generation’. With hungry, talented youngsters such as Theo Walcott, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck hot on the heels of the Lampards and Gerrards, the clouds hanging over Roy Hodgson exerting more influence, there is every chance we could see a new-look England come the summer.

HOW THEY GOT THERE

03/09/2010 – Group G – England 4-0 Bulgaria
07/09/2010 – Group G – Switzerland 1-3 England
12/10/2010 – Group G – England 0-0 Montenegro
26/03/2011 – Group G – Wales 0-2 England
04/06/2011 – Group G – England 2-2 Switzerland
02/09/2011 – Group G – Bulgaria 0-3 England
06/09/2011 – Group G – England 1-0 Wales
07/10/2011 – Group G – Montenegro 2-2 England

HOME AND AWAY KITS

GROUP FIXTURES – GROUP D

Sunday, 11/06 – France v England (Donetsk, 17:00)
Friday, 15/06 – Sweden v England (Kiev, 19:45)
Tuesday, 19/06 – England v Ukraine (Donetsk, 19:45)

FINAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City FC), Robert Green (West Ham United FC), Jack Butland (Birmingham City FC).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton FC), Ashley Cole (Chelsea FC), Glen Johnson (Liverpool FC), Phil Jones (Manchester United FC), Martin Kelly (Liverpool FC), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City FC), John Terry (Chelsea FC).

Midfielders: Phil Jagielka (Everton FC), Stewart Downing (Liverpool FC), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC), James Henderson (Liverpool FC), James Milner (Manchester City FC), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal FC), Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Theo Walcott (Arsenal FC), Ashley Young (Manchester United FC).

Forwards: Andy Carroll (Liverpool FC), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United FC)*, Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United FC).

THE CAPTAIN – STEVEN GERRARD

John Terry is not the only vastly experienced, bona fide leader in the England set-up. Steven Gerrard has the ability to steer and direct others not just through his maturity and enthusiasm for victory, but also his desire, technique and thoroughbred drive. All of these assets not only make Liverpool’s captain world-class, but also inspire and encourage his fellow team mates.

THE KEEPER – JOE HART

Not since the days of David Seaman have the Three Lions had a goalkeeper in whom they can completely trust – Joe Hart is that man. Since deposing Shay Given as Man City’s No.1, and gaining the attentions of Fabio Capello, he has not looked back. Hart belies his years with cool head and safe hands and, whisper it, may just change England’s penalty fortunes.

STAR MAN – WAYNE ROONEY

The undisputed gem in a Manchester United laden with stars, Wayne Rooney has everything you’d expect from a world-renowned forward. Unfortunately an underlying, frustrating petulance – displayed most noticeably by the kick at Montenegro’s Miodrag Dzudovic in England’s final qualifier – means his temperament will once again be under the microscope when he makes his return from suspension on 19/6, againsts hosts Ukraine. Fans will await his arrival with baited breath, but given the fixture list it could conceivably be all over by then for Wayne and the Three Lions.

THE MANAGER – ROY HODGSON

At the international level, the former Fulham boss is an experienced campaigner having managed the likes of Switzerland, Finland and the UAE national team. He took Switzerland to the last 16 of the 1994 FIFA World Cup and Finland to their highest ever FIFA ranking. His ill-fated Liverpool spell lasted just for six months but he restored all his lost reputation by helping West Brom avoid relegation and then guiding them to 10th place finish in the Premier League this season.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTION

Quarter-Finals – France are on a 21 game unbeaten run and Laurent Blanc’s men are the favourites to progress from the group. England build-up to the tournament has been overshadowed by many issues and that combined with Rooney’s absence in the first two games, means a second-place finish looks the best the Three Lions can hope for. That is likely to set up a potential quarter-final clash against European and World champions Spain, and despite the Three Lions beating Vicente Del Bosque’s side 1-0 in a friendly in November at the Wembley, the reigning champions are strong favourites to progress.

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