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Euro 2012 live blog: 19 June | Tom Lutz

19th June 2012

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England set to give Walcott a chance from the start
• Today: England v Ukraine and France v Sweden

Morning. Tom will be here shortly to start the blog. In the meantime why not read Barney Ronay’s England piece?

So: here we go again. England, unexpectedly, expects. There is something wearily familiar, but also irresistibly chipper, about the customary boomeranging of public sentiment when it comes to following England’s footballers at a major tournament. For all the usual backdrop of scepticism, history shows most of the time all it takes is a single victory for hopes of improbable glory to begin to stir once again at the fringes like rabbits in the tree line.

Things were meant to be different this time. Euro 2012 was supposed to be the tournament of no ties, no strings, no expectations. Constructed on the hoof as a coat-hangered quick fix, Roy’s Two Banks Of Four – often rejigged under pressure to one bank of 10 – travelled to Krakow, Donetsk and Kiev so unbowed by expectation that even this lack of momentum was hoist by some as a kind of passive‑aggressive secret weapon, seed perhaps for an ultimate triumph of English self‑deprecation.

True to form the mood ahead of the final group match against Ukraine in Donetsk on Tuesday has shifted a little following the rousing 3-2 defeat of Sweden in the Olympic Stadium, a victory made all the more satisfying by the rare spectacle of an England team responding to mid-game adversity with verve and resilience.

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