England kicks off their Euro 2012 qualification campaign tonight against Bulgaria at Wembley. The nation will be hoping for a good performance to go with a positive result. England crashed out of the World Cup at the last sixteen stage against the old enemy Germany. We all know things could have been different had Lampard’s clear goal been given, but that’s history now, they were poor all tournament.
Since then England have played one game, a shockingly dull 2-1 win over Hungary. Steven Gerrard will be pivotal if England is to win tonight, he’s scored three of England’s last five goals, assisting one of the other two (nice little fact for you there).
As for tonight’s game, I can’t say I’m that arsed myself. I’d be watching it if I didn’t have plans, but I’m not particularly bothered about missing it.
Since the World Cup debacle there was talk of a new era for the national team, though there looks likely to be only three changes from the side that lost to Germany. Here are the two sides…
vs Germany 27/6/10 – James, G Johnson, A Cole, Terry, Upson, Gerrard, Lampard, Barry, Milner, Rooney, Defoe
Likely team vs Bulgaria tonight – Hart, G Johnson, Jagielka, Upson, A Cole, Gerrard, Walcott, Barry, Milner, Rooney, Defoe
So there are three likely changes, and two of them enforced (Terry and Lampard) through injury.
Bulgaria has the odd good player. Villa’s Stilyan Petrov and Bolton’s Martin Petrov are familiar players to Premiership followers. Valeri Bojinov, formerly of Manchester City, has plenty of ability though so far has been blighted by injury most his career.
Though it’d be stupid to suggest England won’t win tonight there’s something niggling at me that they may struggle like they did against Hungary. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
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