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European Championship

  • 19 June 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Donbass Arena, Donets'k
  • Referee: V. Kassai
  • • Attendance: 48700
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England - Ukraine Preview: Three Lions can secure quarter-final berth with a draw

Oleg Blokhin's team must win in order to progress to the knockout stage of Euro 2012 but the fitness of star man Andriy Shevchenko will be touch and go after he missed training

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS

ENGLAND

Hart
Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole
Gerrard, Parker
Walcott, Rooney, Young

Welbeck
UKRAINE

Pyatov
Husyev, Mikhalik, Khacheridi, Selin
Tymoshchuk
Yarmolenko, Nazarenko, Konoplyanka
Voronin, Shevchenko

Wayne Rooney will return to the England team having completed his two-match suspension. He is likely to partner Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck, although Andy Carroll is also in contention after his goal against Sweden.

Theo Walcott, despite leaving training on Sunday with a minor hamstring complaint, could also be handed a start after his match-winning cameo against Erik Hamren's team. The Arsenal winger, if selected, is likely to replace James Milner, with England adopting more of a 4-2-3-1 formation, but Milner could switch to the left flank with the so far unimpressive Ashley Young dropping to the bench.

Andriy Shevchenko is a serious doubt with a knee injury but is likely to be given every chance to prove his fitness given that Ukraine must win to progress to the quarter-final. If he is unavailable, Oleg Blokhin is likely to turn to Artem Milevskiy or Marko Devic to partner Andriy Voronin.

Blokhin has fielded the same defence and midfield in both games so far, with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk shielding the back four and Serhiy Nazarenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko supporting the strikers.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • England have met Ukraine twice in competitive fixtures, with the two sides winning one match each when they clashed during qualification for the 2006 World Cup.

  • The two countries have faced off on two occasions in friendly matches. England have won both, scoring five goals and conceding none.

  • Andy Carroll scored against Sweden but also had the lowest pass completion percentage of any England player. The 23-year-old completed just 19 of his 41 pass attempts.

  • England need only a draw to seal qualification for the quarter-final, but must better France's result against Sweden to win the group. The two teams are level on points but England trail France on goal difference by one goal.

  • Ukraine will become the fifth host country out of eight since the first 16-team European Championship in 1996 to fail to progress past the group stage unless they win in Donetsk.

  • The game on Tuesday could be Andriy Shevchenko's (pictured right) last for his country. He is comfortably Ukraine's all-time top goalscorer having struck 48 times in 110 appearances.

  • Shevchenko aside, Serhiy Nazarenko and Oleh Husyev have the most goals among active Ukraine players, with 12 each in 52 and 74 games respectively.

  • Ukraine will play England twice more when they meet in qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

Players to watch

W. Rooney

Position: Attacker

Games: 2

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England will welcome back their star man in less of a pressure situation than might have been the case had Theo Walcott not instigated a dramatic comeback against Sweden. Rooney will not need to inspire the Three Lions to victory against Ukraine but Roy Hodgson will expect to see a more cohesive team performance with the Manchester United forward linking the play in front of the midfield. Walcott made a real difference to the fluidity of England's counterattacks and Rooney can make the same impact on Tuesday.

A. Shevchenko

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Oleg Blokhin will be hoping desperately that his captain can recover in time to face England and extend his international career by at least one more game by leading them to three points and a place in the quarter-final. Shevchenko is responsible for giving Ukraine a chance going into the final group fixture, brilliantly bagging two goals against Sweden, and he will need to dig even deeper into his energy reserves in order to topple England.

Editor's Prediction

England need only a draw to seal their place in the quarter-final and that will suit them down to the ground. Roy Hodgson's team have looked at their most secure when they put organisation and discipline first, as they did against France, and the experienced coach will be keen to put the emphasis back on those characteristics after a tumultuous second half, much of which he will not have enjoyed, against Sweden.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

England

Ukraine

Wins
2
2
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

England ENG
England England
Draw
Ukraine UKR
Ukraine Ukraine
74%
17%

Top 3 Predictions

England ENG
2 - 0
Ukraine UKR
England ENG
2 - 1
Ukraine UKR
England ENG
3 - 1
Ukraine UKR

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