Sweden Vs. England, 2012 European Championship: Watch It For The Zlatan

ZAGREB, CROATIA - FEBRUARY 29: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden prior to the International Friendly between Croatia and Sweden on February 29, 2012 in Zagreb, Croatia. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

This game isn't really very compelling, if you're a neutral. But you should watch anyway; it has Zlatan Ibrahimovic in it.

If you're a neutral, I can think of exactly one reason that you'd want to watch this match. His name is Zlatan.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is aces, which is a pretty good thing since nobody else in this match is anything approaching aces. We don't have Wayne Rooney around until England's final group stage match, which means that the Swede is the only world-class talent who'll be on display in Kiev on Friday.

He sure won't be getting much help from the rest of his teammates, that's for sure. The AM Milan was excellent during Sweden's first group stage match against the Ukraine, scoring the opening goal and generally playing some superb football, but Ukraine fought back through the legendary figure of Andriy Shevchenko to win 2-1 and put the Swedes in a hugely precarious position.

If they want to advance from Group D, they'll almost certainly have to beat England to manage it. As the Three Lions showed against France, they're not easy to beat - Joleon Lescott, John Terry and Scott Parker all had excellent games in their opener as they held the favourites to a 1-1 draw. Sweden will also have a tough time breaking them down unless Zlatan is at the very top of his game.

Working in their favour, however, is the fact that England probably need to win here too. They face the hosts in the final match and you'd expect a more expansive, attacking style from Roy Hodgson's men this time around compared to the defensive approach they adopted against France. They may open up space for Sweden to play with.

At the other end of the pitch, expect England to target Andreas Isaksson's goal via the cross. This probably means a formation shift, with Andy Caroll coming in and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dropping out as England switch to a 4-4-2. This will be depressing, but probably effective, which is one of the reasons why it will be depressing. Can the Swedes do much about this? Recent history suggests that they can't. They've been exceptionally vulnerable to headers of late, and Ukraine took complete advantage of that weakness in the first match. England will probably do the same here.

Projected Lineups

Sweden (4-4-1-1): Andreas Isaksson; Martin Olsson, Andreas Granqvist, Olof Mellberg, Mikael Lustig; Ola Toivonen, Kim Kallstrom, Rasmus Elm, Sebastian Larsson; Zlatan Ibrahimovic; Johan Elmander.

England (4-4-2): Joe Hart; Ashley Cole, John Terry, Joleon Lescott, Glen Johnson; Ashley Young, Steven Gerrard, Scott Parker, James Milner; Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll.

Monty the Psychic Metal Disk says: 2-0 England with an Andy Carroll brace. if I call this one right, I'm an instant celebrity!

Game Date/Time: Friday, June 15th, 2:45 p.m. ET, 9:45 p.m. local

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine

TV: ESPN (U.S. - English), ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), ITV 1 (U.K.), TSN (Canada)

Online: ESPN3

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