Tuesday evening’s crucial game in Donetsk sees Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine entertain England, with both sides knowing that three points will see them through to the quarter-finals.
England go into the game as favourites for the victory, but having given themselves a great chance of making the last eight thanks to their magnificent victory against Sweden in their opening group game, Ukraine will be going all out to upset the odds.
Oleh Blokhin’s side have scored at least twice in eight of their last ten internationals and have goal threats all over the pitch, not least in the shape of striker Andriy Shevchenko.
Despite concerns over his fitness – he is touch and go to make the game – the 35-year-old has played all but nine minutes of Ukraine’s two matches so far, scoring twice in that victory in Kiev on match day one.
Both of Shevchenko’s goals came with his head and Ukraine will be only too aware that it was set-pieces which undid England in their match against Sweden on Friday.
With this in mind, Roy Hodgson’s men will have to be at their best to combat the threat posed by their opposition’s wingers.
One of those is Andriy Yarmolenko, who is arguably Ukraine’s hottest prospect on show this summer.
The 22-year-old has eight goals in 22 international appearances, as well as providing four assists in his last five games.
On the other flank, Yevhen Konoplyanka also has the potential to unlock the English defence.
The Dnipro winger managed eight goals for his club last season and showed his creative ability in providing the assist for Shevchenko’s winning goal last Thursday.
With such attacking quality on show, Ukraine could well come out of the traps quickly and are priced at 27/20 to get the first goal.
Whether England are good enough to get back into the game – or to keep the likes of Shevchenko, Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka quiet long enough to outscore them – remains to be seen.
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