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The Nikki Lee column - Why Scott Parker could be a key man for England

Glamour model Nikki Lee – a big West Ham and England fan – is predicting a draw for England in their opening Euro 2012 game against France. She also reckons new England boss Roy Hodgson isn't doing a bad job at all and will steer his side comfortably through Group D.

What did you make of England’s win against Belgium?

Very workmanlike. It was a great goal to win the game and another win and another clean sheet is good news for England going into Euro 2012. Norway are one of the best teams that didn't make it and Belgium are no pushovers, so overall it has been a good first two games in charge for Roy Hodgson

Two 1-0 wins is a good start for Roy Hodgson - What do you think about the way he has gone about things defensively so far?

He has done well with the players he has had to choose from. A manager is only as good as his players and you can only beat what's in front of you. Two wins and two clean sheets - you can't really ask for much more than that.

How much of a blow is it for England to lose Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill with injuries?

It's a big blow for England, but they have got to stay strong. Chelsea showed what can be achieved by beating Barcelona with 10 men and then Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Roy Hodgson is a good tactician, the players will know what he needs them to do. Now it's all about whether he can get some team spirit going. Denmark and Greece both won the European Championships as underdogs. Expectations are low now but maybe that can help England.

How do you think England will get on against France?

It will probably be a draw. I think Roy Hodgson will set out an effective game plan to contain them, similar to what Chelsea did against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. The most important thing is not to lose against France. 

How do you think France will get on at Euro 2012 and who are their best players?

I don't think they are one of the favourites but they are dark horses and could do well. I am not sure who to pick as a best player yet though, but I think France have some good players including Nasri, Ben Arfa and Ribery. I am looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about with Yann M'Vila. 

What do you make of Sweden and Ukraine’s chances of qualifying from the group stage?

Zero for Ukraine and although Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his day is a class act and we can't rule Sweden out completely, in reality they should not be good enough to finish in the top two in the group. 

Do you think there could be a lot of problems with racism in Poland and Ukraine?

No, not at all. Racism still happens everywhere in the world - even England. Yes, I said it, it still goes on in this country. Yes, the Panorama programme with Sol Campbell was pretty shocking but personally I don't think it will be a big issue.

How do you think England will get on against Sweden and Ukraine?

I think they will win both games and who cares if it is two more dull 1-0 wins. England are good enough to keep clean sheets against Sweden and Ukraine and should be good enough for at least a goal. I think Scott Parker has an important role to play in protecting the defence and he could be an important player for England at Euro 2012.

Where do you think England will finish in the group?

Most people I talk to think we'll finish second and nobody will be too surprised if they do, but England are capable of winning the group.

What about the young players in England’s squad like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, do you think he has what it takes to be an England hero at Euro 2012?

No. This tournament is too early for him to have a major impact. He is one for the future. I think England's young players lack experience and too often in the past our promising young players haven't lived up to their potential. Theo Walcott is a good example.

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