FINALLY – IT’S GO TIME FOR TEAM ENGLAND! WE’RE GOING TO BATTER THE FRENCH, RIGHT? RAAAAHHHH!

Erm, probably not. Let’s be realistic here, a win would be a miracle and a draw would be a very good result indeed so let’s all calm the fuck down eh? BUT, there’s never been an England side in living memory that have been fancied less than this one and if the players don’t have the overwhelming burden of expectation on their meaty millionaire shoulders, then maybe, just maybe, they can do this. 

BEAT FRANCE?

No – win the whole tournament! 

The word ahead of kick off is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to start instead of Stewart Downing in this line-up: Hart; Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole; Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Young; Welbeck. 

RAAAAHHHH! COME ON!!!!

ONE THING AT A TIME – HOW DO ENGLAND BEAT THE FRENCH THEN?

With a combination of patience and cunning. We can’t expect them to park the bus for 90 minutes, but nullifying the threat of Benzema, Ribery and Nasri is going to be crucial. As for scoring at the other end, there’s no reason why England can’t nick one on the break if Welbeck and Young have got their wits about them. 

Plus there’s always Steven Gerrard – you can get a very appealing 10/1 on the captain scoring in an England win from William Hill. Also, England have scored in the first four minutes during each of their last four Euro tournament appearances – so how do you like 13/2 on an England goal in the first 15 minutes this afternoon?

If you’re not a Friend Of St. George, fill your boots with a bet on a Karim Benzema hat trick – at 40/1 you’ll be laughing yourself hoarse.* (*Horse – like what the French eat, yeah?)

JUST AS LONG AS WE DON’T END UP LIKE IRELAND, EH?

Sadly, the Irish were pretty much finished after only two and a half minutes of their tournament, when they conceded that early goal. Even though they equalised, Croatia always looked stronger and the best that Irish fans can hope for now is to be patronised by English commentators as being the ‘plucky underdogs’ who are ‘up for the craic’. To be sure.

AT LEAST THEY WEREN’T AS BAD AS BALOTELLI…

Super Mario had a shocker for Italy against Spain – fluffing a one-on-one against Casillas was bad enough, but the fact that he didn’t get sent off for punching anyone, trying some close-up magic on the referee’s assistant or pulling a gun out of his sock and shooting a supporter that had looked at him funny was a tragic waste of his mighty talents. 

Hopefully we’ll see him get up to more on the bench during Italy’s next game – knitting a scarf or manning a sex chat line for bored housewives maybe.

HEY EUROBALLS! YOU FORGOT ABOUT SWEDEN V UKRAINE! NOT GOT ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT THAT?

Nah… 

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