Ukraine v England Betting Tip Over 9.5 corners – Tuesday 19th June 2012

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Andrij Yarmolenko (Ukraine)

Ukraine v England

One of the co-hosts have already been eliminated, with Poland exiting the tournament on Saturday, so the Ukraine will be desperate to avoid following them. For them to qualify they have to win otherwise they won’t see past the group stage. Their defeat to France was disappointing for all associated with the national team as they never looked threatening after going a goal down. But for a piece of individual brilliance from Andriy Shevchenko, they failed to trouble the French backline. They have to do better if they are to go further in the tournament. It was also evident, as it was in their opening match against Sweden that they struggle at the back, especially through the centre of the defence. Both of the goals they conceded against the French were from inside the box and occurred within the width of the goalposts.

England done it the hard way with their 3-2 win over Sweden on Friday evening but they got the three points which was the most important thing. It means they need a draw against the Ukraine on Tuesday to ensure qualification. They will be strengthened with the return of Wayne Rooney who is back after serving a two match suspension for a red card picked up in qualifying. It cannot be underestimated how important his inclusion will be as he provides the link between the midfield and forward line. He will also add a much needed element of creativity from central positions which has been lacking thus far. England have profited from excellent delivery from Steven Gerrard in wide positions along with direct play from Theo Walcott down the wing. Having Rooney’s flair and craft from a more central position should provide more opportunities for Danny Welbeck.

Ukraine will no doubt try and frustrate England to begin with as that has been the approach for so many teams who need more. It worked for Greece but it didn’t work for Denmark or Croatia more recently. They don’t have to be gung ho but they do have to show some intent and take the game to their opponents. If they allow England to settle down they could end up regretting it.

Rooney’s inclusion is a massive positive but it still doesn’t mask the deficiencies England posses, especially at the back. As I noted in my preview of their match against Sweden, once the protection of the midfield is taken away from John Terry and Joleon Lescott, they look vulnerable. They shipped two goals from set-pieces against Sweden and could easily have lost more.

I expect England to go through come the end of the match but they could have a scare along the way. Ukraine will surely be more adventurous than they were against France whilst England will probably look to counter but play with a lot of width so there should be plenty of corners.

Over 9.5 corners 5pts, 8/11 @ Bet365