Dexy’s Euro preview – group D

by Dexy Longshot

Sunday, June 10th, 2012
 

Group D

France
After les walloping of Estonia last Sunday & coming back of 21 games unbeaten, you have to fancy France to do well in this tournament. Despite just one decent striker *, The frogs have been steadily improving, scoring goals for fun & on current form are deffo La horsey des le blanc as they say over in garlicland. If they win the group which I think they will on goal difference, it could set up a spicy encounter with Ireland who will want some Hand Of Frog payback. Then again they could face Spain and that would create Le problemo a la grande. (French was never a strongpoint although I excelledin cockney & swearing at school!). Going forward. Laurent Blancs team look Les Dijon but attack them where it hurts at the centre of defence and they could be raising the white flags. Their group opener against England will most likely decide the placings & I fancy a 0-0 or 1-1. Cut-off the supply line to Malouda, Nasri & Ribery employing a robust 5 man midfield and pump it up to Carroll/Welbeck to get in Rami & Mexes fat faces. Captain Hugo Lloris behind guarding the net will be on standby to sort out this snail paced pairing, even Koscieny could be asked to sort it out.
*maybe im being harsh on the strikers. Girold is actually quite good and Ben Arfa ain’t exactly pony.
Dexy’s Diamond – Benzema. A heavy weight hangs around the heavy hitmans broad shoulders, he scored plenty this season for club & country including another brace last weekend and i’m sure he will get on the scoreboards in the games after the England showpice. He is actually a really good outside bet for the tourno top scorer prize, if he plays well, France could go all the way like they did in 2000.
England
I have to take a neutrals point of view here …yeah thought about it, semis at best. I reckon we’ll labour through the group and if we avoid Spain, I can see us seeing of Italy or Ireland when Rooney finally turns up. Still no idea of Roys line-up but sure it will differ from mine. I’d have the Ox on the left of a very flat diamond with Captain Gerro heading it, Milner on the right to cover and overlap the rampaging Glen Johnson keeping Ribery quiet. Parker holds just behind Gerrard who will have to drop deep when France are in possesion. Ashley floats right across so the iffy frogs defence can’t track him and Wellbeck plays as the main striker. The pace of the Ox, Young & Welbeck in possesion on the counter is our main weapon. Defence is well backed up with Hart recognised as one of the worlds best right now. The same goes for Cole. Cahill is a gutter but Lescott has had a top year and Jag is also a very anle player. Obviously, if Rio was playing I would be much happier. The JT charade just carries on & on, you’d think we would have learn’t our lesson after the player power aggro in South Africa. I personally think he should have stepped down when the court case was scheduled until it was all over and done with. This would have left no selection problems and the press could have concentrated on getting behind us. Of course he didn’t and the build up has yet again been all about him. He hasn’t even played well lately, Carroll ruined him in the cup final and as for the champs league final…. Oh hold on! . He’s probably at the hotel now, ironing his Germany kit for the Krauts victory ceremony where he’ll no doubt run on the pitch at the end with his shinpads on sporting a new mullet & disguised in a Kraut top….Kuntz would be apt.
Dexy’s Diamond – Ashley Young can be our main man if he can get on the ball enough. His goals, assists and general play have been a country mile ahead of any other Lion over the last 2 years. If you fancy a punt, hes around 7/1 to be our top goalscorer, not bad considering he will play every game unlike Rooney.
Sweden
For nearly every tournament I can remember, every time England play Sweden (and there have been quite a few), it has been a boring low scoring draw and old boy Olef Mellberg has played. He’s back again at his 6th major tounament but he will not be playing the tried & tested cautious defensive game. Under new boss Erik Hamren, out has gone this style for a more attack minded passing model with quick breakaways. The efficient defence is shield by Svenson & Kalstrom with Elm & Larson in the wide positions of a 4-2-3-1. These two will be a force to be reckoned with at set pieces, Elm has a viking like throw-in and we all know how threatening Sebs free-kicks are. Then we have Ibrahaimovic in the centre with ex bolton bigman Johan Elmander leading the attack. He has played a blinder in his first year out in Turkey and could be a force this summer in tandem with big Ibra. Qualiying went well coming 3pts behind Holland as the highest ranked 2nd placed side. This ensued automatic entry for the Swedes. They were undeafeated and beat Iceland 3-2 last week so go into group D full of hope. Les Frogs et Angleterre will provide stiff opposition but Sweden are not there to make up the numbers.
Dexy’s Diamond – Zlatan Ibrahiamovic has probably got more influence on his team than any other player at the Euros. Now less isolated playing behind a frontman, he has more chances to show of his undoubted talent. He has been a let down in all of Swedens recent majors but it could be his time.
Ukraine
The Ukraine team qualified automatically but haven’t been much cop since 2010. They won a measly one game out of 10 in the 2010-2011 season. Last year saw some improvement with 5 wins & a 3-3 draw with ze Germanz. The support in the stands should act as a threatening 12th man advantage but could also ruin them. The speculation on racism and potential crowd trouble has made front page news and refs have been advised to act accordingly, lets hope we don’t see players walking of or pitch invasions. Another problem is allegations this week of of the team doctors being involved in a drug taking cover-up, this isn’t helping matters for the squad of the pitch. On the pitch, the problems continue as Ukraine have plenty of injuries to contend with and a are bit thin on the ground. Like the other group D contenders, Ukraines main flaw is at the centre of defence. No1 keeper Dikan is out after a nasty facial injury and the 2nd & 3rd are both out too thanks to dodgy legs and anti doping suspensions. So it’s all down to little known Andriy Pyatov. My advise to opposing forwards would be a shoot on sight policy (similar to rubber bullet wielding coppers in the stands). One of few plusses is the team are pretty young and have bags of running on the wing. Husier & Yarmolenko will both have a large part to play if the home fans are to witness more than 3 games of footy and some fisticuffs. Alongside them is clever midfield anchorman veteren Tymoshchvk, not so fresh from a certain Champions League final in Munich last month. Up front, national hero Shevchenko is a contender although his aging limbs may be given little time on the grass with the handy Milesvsk floating around Devik or Voronin if Shevchenkos a nogo.
Dexys Diamond – Yarmolenko is being talked up as the new Shev in these parts. Still young and raw, the 22 year old dynamo is very swift in the left channel and has scored 5 in his last 9 friendlies.
So that’s group D and all the teams finally wrapped up. I’m of for Tia Maria & Irun Brew down on the beaches of Ibiza with my Sky Go so I don’t miss any action. I’ll be back to have a look at the quarters in a few games time hopefully still wearing my England & Ireland colours. Let’s hope it’s a tournament to be remembered. Adios!
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