Swedish midfielder Anders Svensson has revealed he will back England to beat Italy and reach the semi-final of the 2012 European Championship.
The Swedes were knocked out of the competition on Tuesday despite a 2-0 win over France in their final group stage game. The 1-0 win Roy Hodgson's side enjoyed over Ukraine meant Erik Hamren's team failed to progress to the next stage.
"I think England will have a better chance of going to the semi-finals, and I hope they do. I really do. I hope they have a great tournament and go as far as I can. I think they deserve it after being unlucky a few times, so I'm rooting for England," Goal.com quoted Svensson as saying.
The quarterfinal line-up sees two hugely intriguing clashes - between England and Italy on the one hand and France and defending champions Spain on the other. The other quarterfinals will be played between Germany and Greece and Portugal and the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, English midfielder Scott Parker feels his team deserves praise for their performance against Ukraine. Despite winning the game, England were criticised for a dull first half display and for the healthy dose of luck that went their way when an Ukrainian goal was disallowed; television replays showed the ball crossed the line before John Terry cleared it.
"They [Ukraine] were a good, organised team. Obviously they're good on the counterattack. In the hostile environment that it was they put us under pressure at times. They had some good chances but I think if there's one thing we've shown during this tournament it's that we've got some good resilience about us. We really dogged it out," Parker pointed out.
"I think everyone man-for-man stood up and was counted for. The back four were immense and everyone deserves massive credit really. The game plan was to win the game. We've won the game and we move on," the Tottenham midfielder stressed.
Parker also said that although the team was delighted with the achievement, they were aware of a long road still ahead and were determined not to relax. Instead, he said they would try their hardest to keep the momentum going.
"We've done pretty well. We realise it's just the start and we move on to the next game now but hopefully we can keep going," the 31 year old added.