Euro 2012 Live Stream: Online Guide to Watching Friday's Group D Matches
Friday's Group D matches are shaping up to be some of the most meaningful of the 2012 European Championship so far.
It's no secret that not everybody can be in front of a television for four-plus hours a day watching a soccer tournament. But don't worry, we've got an answer to your problem.
If you can't get to a television the watch Group D play on Friday, you can watch the games live on Watch ESPN.
Now that you know where to catch the game on the Internet, here's a little preview of the action.
Game 1: Ukraine vs. France
Ukraine and France are set to square off in a pivotal battle in Donetsk at 12:00 p.m. ET.
The co-hosts of the tournament have three points under their belt after an exciting 2-1 victory over Sweden that saw Andriy Shevchenko score two brilliant goals.
Les Bleus are coming off a semi-disappointing 1-1 tie with England. The result would have been much more appreciated had the Three Lions not been without Wayne Rooney, who served the first game of his two-game suspension.
The match is going to be impacted by the expected increase in temperature. According to weather.com, it could be as hot as the low-90s on Friday, which will certainly impact the style of play both sides employ.
Ukraine's Key Player: Andriy Shevchenko
No surprises here. Shevchenko played the role of one-man wrecking crew against the Swedes. The 35-year-old star forward answered Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 52nd minute strike with a pair of exquisite headers that found the back of the net in the 55th and 62nd minutes to give his team the lead.
If Shevchenko can continue the practice of reverting back to his old form, the French are going to have a hard time marking the illustrious striker.
France's Key Player: Samir Nasri
It seems like if Nasri gets going for the French side, everything just falls into place. If the 24-year-old can be busy early and get some good chances, that will force the Ukrainian defense—specifically Anatoliy Tymoschuk—to pay more attention to him.
More attention on Nasri means less attention on Franck Ribery. Nasri and Ribery firing on all cylinders would give the French a relatively easy victory.
It's hard to bet against France in this one, as they are unbeaten in their last 22 matches, not to mention the talent they have.
Game 2: England vs. Sweden
This tilt is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. in Kyiv and could result in Sweden getting the boot. If France beats Ukraine and England beats Sweden, both Les Bleus and the Three Lions would have four points to Sweden's zero, mathematically eliminating them with one game to play.
England did well to score a draw against a more equipped French team. A tie without Rooney might as well be a victory in Roy Hodgson's book.
Sweden caught the brunt of a Ukranian offensive onslaught that only last a matter of 10 minutes. It's crushing to outplay a team only to see your opponent grab two quick goals. It will be interesting to see how they bounce back.
Key Player for England: Steven Gerrard
Gerrard's contribution to his team against France was spread across multiple facets.
His defensive effort was wildly impressive. He constantly took the ball away from French attackers in the middle third and blocked plenty of long range shots.
It was his cross that resulted in Joleon Lescott's header into the back of the net. He made a game-saving play for the Three Lions late in the match, when he deflected a ball with his head that was close to being a goal.
Key Player for Sweden: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Not many other choices here. Not because of a lack of talent, just because Ibrahimovic is the cream of the crop on the Swedish side.
He did well to get his team out in front with a masterful finish in front of the goal in the 52nd minute, but couldn't muster enough to find the equalizer later in the match.
Which team needs a win the most besides Sweden?
As Ibra goes, so go the Swedes. They'll sorely need him to be at the apex of his game if they want to avoid elimination.
The Swedes are indeed formidable, but England is better. Offensively, defensively and in the matter of midfield possession.
Prediction: 2-1 England
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