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Ukraine v England

England vs Ukraine: Team news, preview & predictions

08:00 BST 03/07/2021
Harry Kane England Euro 2020
Can the Three Lions’ march continue in Rome on Saturday?

After the emotional high of dispatching old foe Germany at Wembley, England must refocus themselves on a very different prospect—a first trip away from London in the tournament, and a clash with Ukraine.

Andriy Shevchenko’s side are a much less ominous prospect than Germany on paper, but after dispatching Sweden in the Last 16 and pushing the Netherlands close in the group stage, they won’t fear Gareth Southgate’s heroes.

England vs Ukraine: Team News

Southgate will have a difficult decision to make ahead of this one; does he stick with the victorious side that ousted Germany, or shuffle his pack ahead of the potential challenges to come?

Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice, both influential in midfield, are each on a booking, and could be rested for Jordan Henderson in order to preserve them for the semi-final.

He will have a big decision to make regarding Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, both now available once again following their coronavirus-enforced suspensions, and the former may be drafted back into the side after his lively performances in the opening games of the tournament.

Bukayo Saka was handed an unlikely start against Germany but faded as the match wore on, while Jack Grealish—so impressive off the bench—could be a contender for a starting berth.

Ukraine will be without Artem Besedin, who faces a long spell on the sidelines after being injured by Marcus Danielson in the previous match, while Denys Popov is absent through injury.

Oleksandr Zubkov could be back in action following a thigh problem.

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England vs Ukraine: Key facts & stats

Only once before—Germany five years ago—has a side ever kept clean sheets in each of their first four tournament matches, and England could equal a record set by Italy at Italia 1990 (five consecutive clean sheets at a major tournament) if they keep Ukraine out.

Worryingly, however, they have a tendency not to get the job done in quarter-finals; all of their appearances at this stage to date went to penalty shootouts.

While they defeated Spain from the spot on home soil at Euro ’96, they were undone by Portugal eight years later, and Italy in Kiev.

Only once have the two sides met before at a major tournament—with England winning 1-0 at Euro 2012—while England have lost just one of their previous seven meetings against the Eastern European side.

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England vs Ukraine:  Predictions

Buoyed by the euphoria of their triumph against Germany, England will be riding high and confident of seeing off Ukraine in Rome.

Southgate has a plethora of attacking options at his disposal, while defensively, the Three Lions have the kind of set-up and organisation that will be the envy of many of the other sides still standing in the tournament.

Ukraine, arguably the weakest of the eight quarter-finalists, will not be pushovers, but they conceded three times against a flawed side, and have their work cut out to secure a result.

Prediction: England 2-0 Ukraine

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