Key battles

Key battles that could decide England's fate

Danny Welbeck: Will be looking to get the better of Olof Mellberg in Kiev

England continue their Group D qualifying campaign against bogey team Sweden in Kiev on Friday.

The Three Lions will be looking to build on their solid 1-1 opening draw against France, but have yet to beat their nemesis in seven competitive meetings.

However, they did at least end a 43-year winless run against them in November's friendly between the sides.

Here, we pick out the key battles that could decide England's fate.


Terry demonstrated just why England boss Roy Hodgson picked him in the squad ahead of Rio Ferdinand in Monday's 1-1 draw against France as he and Joleon Lescott formed a formidable centre-back partnership. Ibrahimovic is one of the game's great enigmas but he once again showed in an otherwise poor Sweden performance against Ukraine that he relishes the big international tournaments.


Cole arguably is still the world's best left-back but his hopes of remaining so could be hurt by the troublesome ankle problem that he has had to manage for some time. Larsson will provide a particularly difficult test for the England star because, unlike many other wide men, he does not need to beat his marker to deliver deadly balls into the area.


Welbeck was outstanding in helping relieve the pressure on England against France on Monday, making the most of what little time he had on the ball. It will be fascinating to see what he can do with even more possession. Former Aston Villa defender Mellberg will have a point to prove after letting fellow veteran Andriy Shevchenko get the better of him on Monday.

What will be the outcome in the match Sweden vs England?

  • Sweden
  • Draw
  • England