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WC Qualification Europe

  • 11 September 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Wembley Stadium, London
  • Referee: C. Çakιr
  • • Attendance: 68102
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England - Ukraine Preview: Oleg Blokhin's men out for revenge after Euro 2012 defeat

The Three Lions are looking to continue their winning start to Group H against the Eastern Europeans, who are hoping to show there is life after Andriy Shevchenko

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS
ENGLAND

Hart
Johnson, Cahill, Lescott, Baines
Lampard, Gerrard
Milner, Cleverley, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Defoe



UKRAINE

Pyatov
Husyev, Mikhalik, Khacheridi, Selin
Tymoshchuk
Yarmolenko, Garmash, Konoplyanka
Devic, Zozulya




John Terry's absence with an ankle injury picked up in the closing stages of Friday's clash with Moldova means Chelsea team-mate Gary Cahill will likely come in to partner Joleon Lescott at centre-back.

Elsewhere, however, boss Roy Hodgson will almost certainly stick with the same line-up which got the Three Lions' qualification campaign off to such an emphatic start, with Jermain Defoe once again leading the line and youngsters Tom Cleverley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking to provide the ammunition.

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin will be forced to re-shape his attack as a result of the retirements of both Andriy Shevchenko and Andriy Voronin in the wake of Euro 2012.

Much of the scoring burden will now rest on Serbia-born Marko Devic and youngster Roman Zozulya, with the dynamic and skilful trio of Andriy Yarmolenko, Denys Garmash and Yevhen Konoplyanka aiming to ensure there is no lack of service to the frontmen. 
  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Since gaining full independence in 1991, Ukraine have only ever qualified for one major international tournament - the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where they got to the quarter-finals before bowing out to eventual winners Italy.
  • Even before gaining independence, however, Ukraine's pedigree as a footballing nation was obvious - seven of the USSR's starting XI in the final of Euro 88 against the Netherlands were Ukrainians.
  • Just two of the current Ukraine squad ply their trade outside of their homeland - captain Anatoliy Tymoschuk of Bayern Munich and veteran goalkeeper Andriy Dykan of Spartak Moscow.
  • The two men with the most international goals in the current Ukraine squad are both midfielders - Sergiy Nazarenko and Oleg Husyev, who are tied on 12.
  • England have emerged victorious over Ukraine in four of the sides' five previous meetings - culminating in a 1-0 win back in June which eliminated Oleg Blokhin's men from Euro 2012.
  • The average age of the side Roy Hodgson fielded in Friday's 5-0 victory over Moldova was 27.64 years old, with some 15 years separating Frank Lampard, the team's oldest player (34) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the youngest (19).
  • England have not lost a qualification match since being beaten by Tuesday's opponents Ukraine back in 2009.
  • Steven Gerrard (pictured) is just three international appearances away from joining England's exclusive group of 'Centurions' - players who have achieved the distinction of reaching 100 caps for the Three Lions.

Players to watch

A. Oxlade-Chamberlain

Position: Attacker

Games: 5

  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
The Arsenal youngster has made a stunningly seamless transition to the England side since his surprise call-up to Euro 2012, and already looks capable of playing a key role on the road to Brazil.
His fearlessness, skill and direct running add an element of the unexpected to Roy Hodgson's functional rather than flamboyant side, and he should once again prove to be compulsive viewing.

A. Yarmolenko

Position: Attacker

Games: 12

  • 5
  • 0
  • 0
The retirement of the legendary Andriy Shevchenko has left his country in search of a new talisman, and Yarmolenko could prove to be the ideal candidate.
A skilful, pacy winger with an eye for goal, the Dynamo Kiev man gave Ashley Cole hell when these two sides met at Euro 2012 back in June, and he will be looking to do the same to Leighton Baines.

Editor's Prediction

The last time these two sides met in Donetsk, England emerged as controversial 1-0 winners. Four months on, with Ukraine a team in transition, Hodgson's men should prove their superiority beyond doubt.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

England

Ukraine

Wins
2
2
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

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