Ukraine - France Preview: 'Important' friendly for Euro 2012 co-hosts against Laurent Blanc's stuttering side
After disappointing in their qualifier against Belarus, Les Bleus will look to impress in Donetsk on Monday evening when they meet Oleg Blokhin's ambitious outfit
By Mohammed Ali
Pyatov; Kucher, Khacheridi, Mandzyuk, Shevchuk; Tymoshchuk, Rotan; Gusev; Milevskiy, Voronin; Shevchenko.
Ukraine boss Oleg Blokhin has singled out the international friendly against France as 'important'. The national team tactician is without the services of some players such as Andriy Yarmolenko who are on U-21 European Championship duty.
Nevertheless, the optimistic coach has set a target of winning Euro 2012 on home soil, and has included the key players in the squad, including talisman Andriy Shevchenko, who recently announced he will be hanging up his boots after next summer's championship.
Lloris; Sagna, Sakho, Rami, Evra; M'Vila, Diarra; Nasri, Ribery, Malouda; Benzema.
Les Bleus endured a difficult time against Belarus on Friday evening, only mustering a 1-1 draw against their Eastern European opponents.
Laurent Blanc vented his frustration after the game at dropping points, and could be set to experiment with his side on Monday evening, with fringe players such as Marvin Martin and Kevin Gameiro expected to play some part in this friendly.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Ukraine have already qualified for Euro 2012 as co-hosts along with Poland.
- The Yellow-Blues have played a string of international friendlies, with their most recent encounter ending in a comfortable 2-0 win over Uzbekistan last Wednesday.
- Before that, Oleg Blokhin's men slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Italy in March.
- All-time top scorer Andriy Shevchenko (pictured right) has announced he will retire after next summer's championships. The former Milan and Chelsea star has 45 goals to his name, three times as many as the next player on the list, Sergey Rebrov.
- The Eastern Europeans participated in the Cytavision Cyprus Tournament in February, which they won on penalties against Sweden.
- The last time Ukraine hosted Les Bleus was in a Euro 2008 qualifier, in which the sides drew 2-2.
- Ukraine lie 35th in the World Rankings.
- France laboured to a 1-1 draw against Belarus on Friday in a Euro 2012 qualifier.
- Despite the setback, they remain top of Group D, four points ahead.
- Les Bleus were also below-par in their previous international friendly in March, in which they could only draw 0-0 with Croatia.
- Before that however, Laurent Blanc's men recorded impressive wins over England and Brazil.
- France prevailed 1-0 the last time the two nations met in an international friendly, in 2004.
- History favours the visitors, who have not tasted defeat against Oleg Blokhin's side in five games.
- France occupy 19th position in the World Rankings.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|Sign up today with BetVictor and get a £25 FREE BET!|
|Sign up with Betway for a £50 free bet!|
Top 3 Predictions
Ukraine 1-2 France
- 15.66 %
Ukraine 1-1 France
- 15.66 %
Ukraine 0-2 France
- 11.74 %
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Europe) (WCQE)||19 Nov 2013||France 3 - Ukraine 0|
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Europe) (WCQE)||15 Nov 2013||Ukraine 2 - France 0|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||15 Jun 2012||Ukraine 0 - France 2|
|International Friendlies (FR)||6 Jun 2011||Ukraine 1 - France 4|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||21 Nov 2007||Ukraine 2 - France 2|
|19 Nov 2013||France 3 - Ukraine 0||WCQE|
|15 Nov 2013||Ukraine 2 - France 0||WCQE|
|15 Oct 2013||San Marino 0 - Ukraine 8||WCQE|
|11 Oct 2013||Ukraine 1 - Poland 0||WCQE|
|10 Sep 2013||Ukraine 0 - England 0||WCQE|
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed