England sweet on Sweden friendly
Published 22:00 12/10/11 By Martin Lipton
England are set to play Sweden at Wembley next month after first-choice opponents Portugal were left facing a Euro 2012 play-off.
Fabio Capello's side will begin the countdown to the tournament by hosting world and European champions Spain on Saturday November 12 but will play another home game three days later.
That had been penciled in as a date with Cristiano Ronaldo's Portuguese but Sweden, who have not lost to England since 1968 and qualified automatically as the best runners-up, are now the intended opponents if the details can be finalised, with Denmark the alternative.
Capello, meanwhile, hopes his personal plea on behalf of Wayne Rooney will sway UEFA disciplinary chiefs on Thursday when they decide what punishment to impose on the Manchester United striker for his red card against Montenegro.
As expected, Capello and Rooney have both written letters urging leniency as part of the FA's legal case which was sent to Nyon last night.
If the control and disciplinary committee follows the rules to the letter and deems that Rooney "assaulted an opponent" he would face a three-game ban, ruling him out of the entire group stage of the tournament.
It seems more likely that Rooney will get a two-game ban, as Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin did for a similar red card offence against Andorra in the final game of Russia's Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
Wembley chiefs have hinted they will appeal if the Scouser is handed more than a one-match suspension.