MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19: Ashley Cole of Chelsea reacts during UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Ukraine Lineup: (4-1-3-2) Andriy Pyatov, Oleh Gusev, Yaroslav Rakitskiy Yevhen Khacheridi, Yevhen Selin; Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Andriy Yarmolenko, Denys Garmash, Yehven Konoplyanka, Artem Milevsky, Marko Devic
Sweden Lineup: (4-4-2) Andreas Isaaksson; Andreas Grandqvist, Olof Mellberg, Jonas Olsson,; Sebastian Larsson, Anders Svensson, Kim Kallstrom, Emir Bajrami; Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Toivonen.
Today's final matches of Group D, and of the group stage of Euro 2012, between England and Ukraine and Sweden and France from Donetsk and Kyiv, respectively, will determine the winners of Group D, and with it, the lucky team who, as runners-up, avoid a potential semifinal clash with Germany, but at the cost of meeting Spain, rather than Italy, in the next round.
Let's look at who's in the mix for advancement: Sweden are already out, after their losses to Ukraine and England in the first two rounds. France are basically through, only being knocked out with wins for both Ukraine and Sweden in which England lose to Ukraine by two fewer goals than France lose to Sweden, or England lose by one less, and France don't score two more than England. [Think. 1-0 Ukraine and 3-1 Sweden here.]
With the near formalities out of the way, we get to England and Ukraine, which are nearly as simple. Ukraine simply need to win, and England simply need to not lose. To win the group, and set up a clash with Italy in the next round, England need a better result than France. If both win, England need to win by two more than France, or by one more, if France don't score 2 more goals than England. [2-0, 2-1, say]
Despite being the most straightforward group of the four, permutations-wise, everything is still very much up in the air. England and France are favourites to win, but the conditions for determining the group winner mean the matches should remain interesting until the final minute, as one late goal could swing the group either way.
Side Note: The France v. Sweden referee is Pedro Proença, who was doing something on this day last month, but I can't quite remember what it was. Maybe you can. ; )