England 4-4-2 vs France 4-3-3
England have 8 defenders to shut down France’s 6 attackers + 2 outside backs (Debuchy and Evra) that might attack.
When France attack with outside backs, England will have Young and Welbeck to counter with against 3 defenders, one of whom is not quick.
Expect possession to be 65-35 in France’s favor at half time. Shots will probably be 10-2 for France, with 2 on target, 4 wide and 4 blocked. England’s 2 will be both wide.
Oxlade-Chamberlain may have been put in to keep Debuchy pinned back more.
The longer England can frustrate France the more they will have a chance to counter.
If France score early, this will be a difficult game for England because they will get tired chasing the ball and not have enough energy to sustain attacks.
If England are losing, expect Walcott, Downing and Carroll to come in and make an impact in 2nd half. Walcott can beat Evra. Carroll can get on the end of crosses from both sides (Ox will tend to come inside).
Will Gerrard have the composure to take a good penalty kick if Young goes down for a PK?
A draw will be a sound result for both teams. Interesting to see how open the game becomes as players get tired.
Czech Republic threatened early and scored within 15 minutes of 2nd half, but importantly, Russia did not sit back and go into their shell. They continued to attack and got their reward with 2 further goals to win 4-1.
Russia look good defensively and even though they cede territory, they pass the ball well on the break in the attacking third.
Czech Republic have good possession but no physical cutting edge up front and at the back they are weak when asked to defend the counter.
Will CR change their shape? They have to become more clinical in attack, but they are leaving themselves open to counters and Russia look very assured on the break.
First 15 minutes of 2nd half is critical. If Russia can survive, then the CR will attack more and Russia will kill them off with 1 or 2 more goals.
If CR score in 1st 15 minutes, Russia may go into their shell and become too defensive, thereby possibly letting in a tying goal.
Here you can see the formations of both teams – 4-2-3-1 of CR and 4-3-3 of Russia.
My prediction 3-0 Russia.
Will be interesting to see 4-2-3-1 of Czech against 4-3-3 of Russia.
Czech Republic starting lineup
Russia starting lineup
#2 Selassie looks good overlapping RB.
#15 Baros lots of good movement
Russia struggling to keep possession.
Game set up for Russian counter.
15′ Russia goal!
19′ another Russian counter and chance!
Russia starting to find space between the lines.
CR look dangerous from set plays. Organized.
24′ Russia look dangerous on break.
30′ CR get free kick on right. Needless foul by Arshavin.
Russia target player is reference point for Russia attack and bringing in wide players.
Russia old squad. Won’t be inexperienced in lead. Fitness?