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Euro 2020: Ukraine vs England Quarter-Final Preview

Ukraine will take on England in the UEFA Euro 2020 Quarter-Final on July 4 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Ukraine booked their tickets to the quarter-finals in the dying moments of a thriller against Sweden. Artem Dovbyk decided the game in his side’s favour with what was the last action of the game in extra-time after the match ended at 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, England got the better of Germany with two second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane sealing the tie in front of a frantic Wembley crowd. 

Gareth Southgate’s side will be marching into the quarter-finals as the favourites. In their last seven meetings in all competitions, England have lost just once.

The last time these two sides met was in the group stages of Euro 2012. England won the match 1-0 thanks to a goal from Wayne Rooney. 

However, all of their previous three quarter-final contests at the Euros have required extra-time and penalties. England won the first contest against Spain in 1996, but lost on the next two occasions against Portugal in 2004 and Italy in 2012.

With a thrilling clash in the cards, let’s take an in-depth look at both the sides:

 

UKRAINE’S FORM IN EURO 2020 

Ukraine finished third in Group C behind Netherlands and Austria. They began their Euro 2020 campaign with a nail-biting 3-2 loss to the Netherlands. 

Even though the Dutch side were leading by two goals in the second half, Ukraine restored parity soon. However, a late Denzel Dumfries goal denied them all three points.

Ukraine won their second match against North Macedonia with Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk scoring the goals. Even though Ezgjan Alioski pulled one back in the second-half, Ukraine held on to the lead.

Ukraine lost their final match against Austria due to a Christoph Baumgartner goal, but ended up qualifying as one of the best third-placed sides.

Their Round of 16 fixture against Sweden proved to be a thriller. Ukraine took the lead through a fantastic move by Yarmolenko and Zinchenko. Sweden equalised through Emil Forsberg just before half-time. Sweden also had plenty of attacks in the second half and Forsberg was denied by the woodwork twice, but Ukraine survived and managed to take the game to extra-time.

In extra-time, Sweden’s Danielsson was sent off for a dangerous challenge and the tide swung into Ukraine’s favour. Artem Dovbyk scored in the 121st minute of the match to prevent penalties and break the Swedes’ hearts.

Form guide (last five matches): W-L-W-L-W

 

UKRAINE’S PROBABLE TACTICS AND LINEUP AGAINST ENGLAND 

Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko relies on a 3-5-2 system with Andriy Yarmolenko leading the attack. Yarmolenko has been sharp out front and would like to continue his successful Euro 2020 campaign. 

Oleksandr Zinchenko has been sensational on the left flank providing width and romping forward. The Manchester City midfielder-turned-fullback was on the scoresheet in the previous game as well.

 

 

The trio of Matviyenko, Kryvstov, and Zabarnyi defend well and they make Ukraine’s backline compact. Manager Shevchenko is unlikely to make many changes in his Round of 16 lineup.

Ukraine Probable Playing XI (3-5-2): Heorhiy Bushchan, Illya Zabarnyi, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Mykola Matviyenko, Oleksandr Karavayev, Serhiy Sydorchuk, Taras Stepanenko, Mykola Shaparenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk

 

ENGLAND’S FORM IN EURO 2020 

Despite never hitting top gear, England topped Group D with two wins and a draw. England began their European Championships with a 1-0 win over Croatia with Sterling getting on the scoresheet.

The much-hyped and historical rivalry between England and Scotland ended in a goalless stalemate. The Three Lions got the better of Czech Republic with Sterling scoring again in the final group stage fixture and finished on top of Group D.

Gareth Southgate’s side were up against the 2014 World Cup winners Germany in their Round of 16 clash. Despite having several opportunities, England failed to take the lead in the first half.

That changed when Raheem Sterling, who is one of the top performers so far, opened the scoring in the 75th minute to send the Wembley crowd into a frenzy. 

Silence fell over the entire stadium when Thomas Muller was through on goal but the noises only doubled when Harry Kane scored following Muller’s miss.

Form guide (last five matches): W-W-D-W-W

 

ENGLAND’S PROBABLE TACTICS AND LINEUP AGAINST UKRAINE 

Despite using a conventional 4-3-3 structure in all three group matches, Southgate decided to use a 3-4-3 against Germany and it paid dividends. 

Harry Kane led the attack for The Three Lions while Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka operated on the wings. Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier acted as the wing-backs and provided overload options on the flanks. 

Southgate also employed a double pivot through Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice but he might resort to playing either Phil Foden or Mason Mount in the next match in order to ease the creative pressure on the wing-backs and the centre-backs.

Southgate might be tempted to use the same system in the remaining knockout games if they do get through this one with a few tweaks.

England Probable Playing XI (3-4-3): Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Kiran Trippier, Declan Rice, Phil Foden, Luke Shaw, Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling

 

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