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Group B

England, one of the seeds in the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ Final Draw in Leipzig, were grouped with familiar foes Sweden as well as Paraguay and a Trinidad and Tobago side who are competing in their first finals.

For England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson it is another clash against his home country and history favors Lars Lagerback's men. Paraguay, competing in the finals for the third successive time, will command respect having reached the last 16 in both 1998 and 2002, losing out to the eventual finalists on both occasions. Trinidad and Tobago, meanwhile, will be determined to put on a good show on their debut appearance.

  Standings and Results
Group B MP W D L GF GA Pts
ENG 3 2 1 0 5 2 7
SWE 3 1 2 0 3 2 5
PAR 3 1 0 2 2 2 3
TRI 3 0 1 2 0 4 1

10 Jun ENG : PAR 1:0
10 Jun TRI : SWE 0:0
15 Jun ENG : TRI 2:0
15 Jun SWE : PAR 1:0
20 Jun SWE : ENG 2:2
20 Jun PAR : TRI 2:0

Date in your diary: Cologne, 20 June, Sweden v England
This will be seen as the key fixture in the group and Eriksson will not need reminding that England do not have a happy record against his homeland. The sides drew 1-1 in Saitama in Korea/Japan 2002 and the Swedes then defeated England 1-0 in March 2004, continuing a long unbeaten run against England which stretches back to 1968.

David v Goliath: Nuremberg, 15 June, England v Trinidad and Tobago
This will be an occasion to relish for the Caribbean first-timers, many of whom ply their trade in England and Scotland.

History repeats itself: Berlin, 15 June, Sweden v Paraguay
The two nations met in the finals in Brazil in 1950. The game in Curitiba ended 2-2 and that was enough for Sweden to win Group 3 and progress to the next phase.


England will be favorites to win the group and take the next step on the long road which they hope will see them claiming football's supreme prize 40 years after they were crowned world champions in their own country. However, Sweden, experienced campaigners at this level with their 11th appearance in the finals, will be strong contenders and will hope to improve on four years ago when they made it to the last 16.

Fourth in the South American qualifiers, Paraguay's aim will be to survive the group stage, something they accomplished in each of the last two finals. In qualifying, Anibal Ruiz's team managed a 1-0 victory at home to Argentina, having earlier held the two-time FIFA World Cup winners to a 0-0 draw in Buenos Aires. So they will not be lacking confidence.

Trinidad and Tobago may lack experience but in Leo Beenhakker they have a coach who is no stranger to the highest level of competition, guiding the Netherlands into the second round in Italy in 1990 when they bowed out to eventual winners West Germany. Sheer enthusiasm alone is bound to make them difficult opponents.

Did you know?

Trinidad and Tobago have never faced England and since 1985 have only met one of the other teams in the group – Paraguay. In March 1989 the two sides locked horns in two friendly fixtures, which ended 2-2 and 1-1.