Group D

This was after all a relatively easy group to predict. Or put another way, I managed to spot the teams that would go through, in the shape of England and France.

I did get the order wrong mind.  I thought that France would be the best team in the group and top it, with England managing to qualify in second. Of course the reverse is true.

Although not prettily, England did enough to see off the co-hosts with a 1-0 win in their final game, whereas the French seemed to take their eye off the ball and lost to Sweden who had no chance of qualifying themselves. Most odd.

Here's what I was saying before we kicked off:

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

D is for... dearth?  Dismal?  Disappointing?

Well it's true, but any one of those 'D' words could apply to this group... or in fact any other 'D' word with negative connotations.

Relatively speaking, England and France are as big a pair of wastrels in major International Tournaments as there has ever been.  I suppose that their records in the World Cup are comparable (for that read equally bad) having both won it once, on home soil.

In the Euro's only the French have won - winning it twice, once at home in 1984 and again in Spain / Portugal in 2000.  England's closest attempt was the semi-final defeat to Germany at Wembley in Euro96.

That said, I'd put both of them to escape from this group - woah, that's sticking my neck out!  Sweden are always a pain for England, but don't usually beat them.  In the case of Ukraine, whilst they have home advantage they also have Andriy Voronin playing for them.  Just watch as my predictions come unstuck at the seams...

P W L D F A GD Pts
England 3 2 0 1 5 3 2 7
France 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Ukraine 3 1 2 0 3 5 -2 3
Sweden 3 1 2 0 5 5 0 3
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England 3 2 0 1 5 3 2 7
France 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Sweden 3 1 2 0 5 5 0 3
Ukraine 3 1 2 0 2 4 -2 3

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