England shortened slightly for Euro 2012 glory

So what to make of the England performance on Friday night?

The 3-2 victory over Sweden seems to have split opinion, with those wishing to concentrate on the positives keen to point out the great character displayed in coming from 2-1 down with just 30 minutes left to secure a vital win that leaves Roy Hodgson’s side needing just a point from their remaining game to get out of the group.

Yet those whose glass is half full will see problems. From looking like they would go on to win the game comfortably at half-time when they led through an Andy Carroll header, England nearly threw the game away with a disastrous opening 15 minutes to the second half, during which Sweden took a 2-1 lead.

The manner in which England conceded those goals will have had Roy Hodgson tearing his hair out. The Three Lions started the second half in second gear and sat back far too deep too early. The two set-piece goals they let in were more at home on a Sunday morning than a major international tournament.

But with good and bad in the display, England’s outright price has barely moved, despite having a foot in the quarter-finals.

A draw against Ukraine will see England reach the knock-out stages, but despite that, they have only been cut by half a point, from 12/1 to 23/2 to win Euro 2012, which suggests the bookies feel better sides than the average Swedes will cause England no end of problems.

England are now 41/20 to win Group D, behind France, who need only to beat the Swedes to finish above England. A price of 1/4 to qualify from the group, however, means England are expected to finish the job against the co-hosts in Donetsk on Tuesday.

I had tipped Ashley Young to be England’s top scorer but two ineffectual displays and no goals have left him trailing four different players and the 15/2 isn’t looking like a bet that is going to cop, especially with the returning Wayne Rooney back in the fold.

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