I'LL be first to admit – I called the England v Spain friendly badly wrong.

Possession was pretty much as expected but although they had most of the ball the Spanish didn't make the most of it.

Credit to England for the win but it wasn't pretty to watch and the performance won't have convinced anyone to back them to win Euro 2012.

Next up for Fabio Capello's men is a Wembley visit from Sweden, who are undoubtedly England's bogey time.

The English haven't beaten them in 12 attempts with the last success coming in 1968 when they were world champions.

Eight of those 12 games ended in draws while the other four were on-goal wins for the Swedes.

So could it be lucky 13 for England at Wembley on Tuesday? Possibly but remember it's a friendly and a best 4-5 with William and Ladbrokes isn't the most tempting offer.

However, Sweden looked poor and disinterested as they crashed 2-0 in Denmark on Friday and will lose if they turn up with the same attitude.

Capello will make up to eight changes with John Terry back and the likes of Jack Rodwell, Daniel Sturridge and Kyle Walker in line for starts.

Rather than piling on England to win look at under 2.5 goals at 4-5 (various) and first goal time after 31 minutes (23-20, William Hill).

Sturridge has scored vital goals for Chelsea this season so is worth a look at 6-1 with Ladbrokes to bag the opener.

For the Swedes their big dangerman if he starts is Zlatan Ibrahimovic and he is 9-1 at unibet to score first.

Spain let us down big style against England at Wembley and next face Costa Rica away from home.

Teams are beginning to understand if they put 10 men behind the ball they can frustrate the world champions and maybe it's the only way to play against them.

Costa Rica will try it for sure but are probably not good enough to keep the Spanish stars quiet.

Spain have now lost four games since being crowned world champions – but they were to Portugal, Argentina, Italy and England.

We shouldn't be adding Costa Rica to that list and indeed I reckon the Spanish will come out with all guns blazing after the criticism they received post-Wembley.

Spain are a best 2-7 with the likes of Coral and Ladbrokes but consider Paddy Power's 8-11 for -1 or even 2-1 for -2.

Costa Rica have netted just once in six games so aren't worth a look even at 14-1 with Chandler.

The biggest fixture could be Germany v Holland in Hamburg but again some big names are missing. Germany face a side without Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart so for that reason I'll be on the home at a best 1-1 with the likes of William Hill and Betfred.

Italy v Uruguay looked a cracker on paper but Luis Suarez is injured and Diego Forlan rested for the visitors. Without their star men the South Americans could struggle to break down a Italy side that's kept four clean sheets in five.

The Italians have won four out of five since beating Spain in a friendly and look in decent shape. Take them at 23-20 with William Hill.

Elsewhere, Ukraine were impressive against Germany at the weekend and should beat Austria.

Ukraine led 3-1 before being pegged back to 3-3 and have now scored eight in their last three games. Austria have drawn two of their last three 0-0 and had to settle for fourth place in Group A with just three wins from 10 games so the home men look on the up with the Austrians going in the opposite direction.

Ukraine are a biggest 4-6 with Ladbrokes while Austria are 11-10 at William Hill.

The USA's last six games have featured under 1.5 goals so consider that possibility again away to a Slovenia side who have gone under 1.5 in four of their previous six. Under 1.5 pays 2-1 at Stan James.

Both teams are struggling for form but the USA can nick this one at a best 11-5 with bet365, William Hill and Chandler.

Other sides to consider are Denmark (4-9, William Hill) at home to Finland and Greece

(23-20, William Hill) at home to Romania.

I'd be reluctant to touch France at odds on at home to up-and-coming Belgium and this could be a draw.


First goal after 31 mins at England

(23-20, William Hill)

Spain -2

(2-1, Paddy Power)

Spain -1

(8-11, Paddy Power)


(1-1, various)


(23-20, William Hill)

Under 1.5 goals at Slovenia v USA

(2-1, Stan James)


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