UEFA EURO 2020 has it all in the 16th edition since its assumption. Every emotion displayed such as drama, excitement, fun, nerve-wracking, last-minute joys, surprises, happiness, sadness, and many more. Teams not expected to win big have come up to the quarters now fighting over for a spot in the semis against the big guns and most favorites to win the EURO 2020.
England has scored the least no of goals this euro. For a team to qualify in the Round of 16(2), but opened their floodgates against Germany, playing free and quick football in the second half and comfortably getting through with a 2-0 victory to advance into the quarters.
A Gareth Southgate redemption. The manager’s failure from the penalty spot against Germany 25 years ago was such a talking point in the build-up to this match. “This is their moment,” he insisted of his players … and wasn’t he right? “It’s a dangerous moment [with] the feeling around the country that we’ve only got to turn up to win the thing,” Southgate added. “We know it’s going to be an immense challenge from here on. “That was England’s first knockout win vs Germany in 55 years. Big up there going to come all out to win this one.
Ukraine on the other hand has been the surprise us all. Starting their EURO campaign with a string of an amazing brace against the Netherland. Their skipper Andriy Yarmolenko was impressive the fans with the goals. Ukraine had a crazy 5 minutes in that game scoring 2 quick goals but wasn’t good enough for 3 goals of the Netherlands. Ukraine’s win came in their next game against North Macedonia, a 2-1 win, which showed Shevchenko’s men are here for business.
Yarmolenko was the Star of the Match, where he scored one and set up another. “We could have scored more. We need to look at how many chances we create and how we play in attack. I think Ukraine was very good in attack today, I was pleased to see this kind of performance. But the most important thing is that we reacted [after conceding] with the desire to score more and earned this win.” Shevchenko had to say. Ukraine faced Sweden in the RO16 and won that game 2-1. Ukraine equaled their best result at a major tournament having also reached the last eight of the 2006 World Cup. This showed what this meant for Shevchenko and his men, to come this far into the tournament, and now potentially have a chance to stop England from going through.
Still the question arises, Can Southgate bring it home? OR is Shevchenko going to dent English hopes ?
Why to watch out for?
A potential surprise is upon the cards if Ukraine beat England to advance into the semis of the Euros. This is potentially their best chance and their best result in their footballing history. Ukraine may be entering uncharted territory, but after a battling win over Sweden in the round of 16 they are unlikely to be fazed by a first EURO quarter-final appearance. Group stage defeats against the Netherlands and Austria are long since forgotten. This is a team riding high after Artem Dovbyk’s late strike in Glasgow proved they are a side that “can achieve our goals”, according to Oleksandr Zinchenko.
England has become experts at thwarting other team’s plans. England has kept a fourth straight clean sheet in their last-16 triumph against Germany. Raheem Sterling scored his third goal of the tournament and Harry Kane opened his EURO 2020 account. Suggesting the Three Lions have found the right balance. The prospect of returning to Wembley for the semi-finals and final is no little extra incentive for Gareth Southgate’s side.
Manager’s day out before the game
Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine coach
“We have achieved our main goal already and everything else will be a bonus. Probably, there is a different pressure on England. They are seen as favorites but everyone perfectly knows that anything can happen in football. We are preparing very seriously and we want to surprise England. We can see the great job done by Gareth Southgate. Beyond all doubt, they are one of the best teams at this moment. So we perfectly understand how strong our opponent is and how hard the game will be for us.”
Gareth Southgate, England coach
“Ukraine is a good side. I’ve been really impressed with what Andriy’s done with them. They had a couple of sticky results through the autumn, through the Nations League but they’ve bounced back, and they got a very good result in France, in the World Cup qualifiers, and again this week against Sweden. If we give them space to play, they’ll play, and they’ve got some dangerous forwards.
Quick on Recent Head-to-Head
England Draw Ukraine
4 2 1
England: – 9
Ukraine: – 3
Form in UEFA EURO 2020
Ukraine’s latest win: 2-1, RO16 v/s Sweden
England’s latest win: 2-0, RO16 v/s Germany
Formation: – 5-3-2
Defenders: – Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko, Zinchenko;
Midfielders: -Sydorchuk, Stepanenko, Shaparenko;
Attackers: -Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk
Out: Besedin, Zubkov
Misses next match if booked: Dovbyk, Shaparenko, Sydorchuk, Yarmolenko
Formation: – 4-2-3-1
Defenders:- Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw;
Defensive Midfielders: – Henderson, Phillips;
Attacking Midfield: -Foden, Mount, Sterling;
Striker: – Kane
Doubtful: Saka (knock)
Misses next match if booked: Foden, Maguire, Phillips, Rice
Players to Watch out for
England’s top scorer in the EUROS this time, scoring 3 he might want to score more to challenge Cristiano Ronaldo(5) and Patrick Schick(4) for the EURO 2020 Top Scorer.
Coming on after an injury break, probably being England’s most solid center back beside his partner John Stones. He was the star of the match against Germany, for his outstanding skills, supplying key balls in the attacking half and also being solid in defense.
Ukraine’s captain has been the most impressive for them. He could cause serious problems to England down the left side and the central areas because of his play and owing to how England lineup, with only Luke Shaw on his side to get through. His left foot shots, curling in also should keep Pickford on his toes always.
This Manchester City lad has become Ukraine’s favorite man and also one of their most important assets. A player that gives you so many options in terms of Ukraine’s style of play, can play LB, LWB. CM, LCM, RCM. That vicious left foot of his gave Ukraine the lead against Sweden, crucial in Ukraine’s position up until now. His goal and assist in Glasgow gave Ukraine their ticket to the quarter-finals. Ever-present at EURO 2020.
Match Facts and Background
The winners of this tie will play the Czech Republic or Denmark in the semi-finals at Wembley on 7 July.
Ukraine have won only one of their seven matches against England (D2 L4), those four defeats including the sides’ only previous UEFA European Championship contest with Wayne Rooney scoring the only goal at Donetsk’s Donbass Arena in the group stage of UEFA EURO 2012 to send England into the quarter-finals and knock Ukraine out. Andriy Pyatov and Andriy Yarmolenko played 90 minutes for Ukraine; current coach Andriy Shevchenko was a second-half substitute.
Ukraine’s first ever UEFA European Championship quarter-final takes them to the Olimpico in Rome, where they face an England side aiming to reach a first semi-final since 1996.
This is England’s tenth appearance in the UEFA European Championship; they finished third in 1968 and also reached the semi-finals on home soil in 1996. England have won only two of their five EURO quarter-finals, both against Spain – in 1968 (1-0 h, 2-1 a) and 1996 (0-0, 4-2 pens). They lost to West Germany in 1972 (1-3 h, 0-0 a) and against Portugal (2004) and Italy (2012), both on penalties.
Ukraine won their only previous competitive penalty shoot-out:
3-0 v Switzerland, 2006 FIFA World Cup round of 16 England have kept clean sheets in nine of their last ten matches, conceding just one goal over that period, to Jakub Moder of Poland in a 2-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying win at Wembley on 31 March.
Arguably Ukraine’s best ever player, Shevchenko carried considerable expectations when he took charge of the national team after UEFA EURO 2016, but the 44-year-old is doing far more than dwelling on past, as he leads the Synio-Zhovti towards Quarter Final tie against England.
All focus will be on Southgate and his men, whether they will be able to tackle up Ukraine’s quick football style of play and keep a clean sheet and a clean record this EURO 2020 and advance into the semis for another challenge.
Overall, it is going to be a most entertaining game. So, sit back and relax and take your sides, because it is UEFA EURO 2020, here it is just footballing entertainment.
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