Euro 2020 quarter-final: England vs. Ukraine preview, team news and predictions
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate urges caution after the superb win over Germany
It was almost the perfect night at Wembley as England beat Germany 2-0 to reach the quarter-finals. Raheem Sterling scored for the third time at Euro 2020, captain Harry Kane finally got off the mark and Jordan Pickford is yet to concede a goal in the tournament.
Gareth Southgate praised his “immense” players for their performance against the Germans but he has also issued caution ahead of the last-eight clash with Ukraine in Rome.
“It didn’t need me to say it, but when we got in the dressing room we were talking about Saturday already,” said the England head coach. “We need to make sure we recover well.
“It’s a dangerous moment for us. We have a feeling round the country that we only have to turn up to win the thing now, but it’s going to be an immense challenge from here on. The players’ feet are on the ground, they should feel confident from the way they’ve played, but we came here with an intention and we’ve not achieved that yet. We can look back on a day like today in the future, but I want to get my focus right and look ahead to Saturday.”
Shevchenko: we will play our hearts out
Ukraine reached the quarter-finals with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sweden. With penalties looming and the score at 1-1, Artem Dovbyk scored the winner in added time of extra time.
Head coach Andriy Shevchenko has urged his Ukraine squad to be fearless when they face England at the Stadio Olimpico, The Telegraph reports.
“They are incredibly difficult to score against but their strength shouldn’t scare us,” he said. “It should motivate us because everything is possible in football, as in life, and we will play our hearts out to give our fans even more to cheer about.”
The winners of this tie will play the Czech Republic or Denmark in the semi-final at Wembley on Wednesday 7 July.
Kick-off time and TV details
The quarter-final clash between England and Ukraine takes place on Saturday 3 July at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy. Kick-off is at 8pm (BST) and the match is live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Ukraine team news
Ukrainian forward Artem Besedin will miss the rest of Euro 2020 after sustaining a knee injury following a tackle from Sweden’s Marcus Danielson in the quarter-finals. Danielson was sent off for the challenge. Assistant coach Oleksandr Shovkovskiy wrote on Facebook: “We are no longer able to count on Artem Besedin in our next matches. He is forced to leave the team and return to Kyiv for a full examination.”
Ukraine possible starting XI: Bushchan; Zabarnuyl, Kryvtsov, Matvienko; Karavaev, Sydorchuk, Stepanenko, Shaparenko, Zinchenko; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk
England team news
After coming on as a substitute Jack Grealish played a key role in the win against Germany. The Aston Villa playmaker will hope that his impressive display is enough to warrant a starting place in Rome.
Southgate reverted to a back three at Wembley on Tuesday but could be tempted to switch back to a four to accommodate another forward, says Alex Young of the London Evening Standard. He will have a big decision to make regarding Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, who are both available.
England possible starting XI: Pickford; Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Phillips; Sterling, Kane, Grealish
Pundit predictions: who will win?
Mark Critchley, The Independent: “Ukraine are perhaps being underrated here and could prove difficult to break down, while England will have to adapt to playing in front of a neutral crowd for the first time. Even so, two defeats from three group games and a late win against 10-men is not a compelling case for Andriy Shevchenko’s side. Another narrow but controlled England win feels likeliest. Ukraine 0-1 England.”
Ed Dove, 90min.com: “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.”
Chris Smith, Squawka: “After the dizzying high of beating Germany, Southgate will be working extremely hard to keep his players grounded ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rome. Ukraine pushed the Netherlands all the way in the group stages and proved against Sweden they’re well equipped for a 12-round punch-up. But this England side are mature beyond their years. They seem to care very little about the pressure of being favourites, nor the history of disappointment that has often accompanied the Three Lions in major tournaments. We might see a tough opening half but in the end, England should have the intelligence, patience and firepower to put Ukraine to bed. Scoreline prediction: England 2-0 Ukraine.”
Ben Knapton, SportsMole: “After backing Germany to dump England out of the Euros in the last-16 stage, we have certainly learned our lesson. With Ukraine set to deploy a similar system to that of Die Mannschaft, England's three-at-the-back formation ought to come good once again. While Shevchenko's men deserve credit for making the last eight, it is fair to say that they have fluked it somewhat, and this time around, we are expecting England to get the job done ahead of another Wembley outing in the semi-finals. We say: Ukraine 0-2 England.”
Telegraph Sport: “Germany were arguably England's biggest threat to reaching the semi-finals and beyond and, having passed that test, Gareth Southgate’s men will fancy their chances of beating Ukraine in the quarter-finals and securing a place in the last four. Predicted score: England 1 Ukraine 0.”
Alex Young, London Evening Standard: “England are yet to concede a goal and, one Thomas Muller chance aside which they inflicted upon themselves, have rarely looked like doing so after four games. Ukraine toiled for a further 30 minutes on Tuesday night, and looked exhausted before that. England have enough in them to hold their opponents’ at arm’s length and pick them off.”
Asif Nasser, FootTheBall: “There has already been too much drama in the campaign. Will this be another turnaround where the favourites fall short of expectations? As much we love to see another underdog story, the game is likely to end as expected. Southgate’s pragmatic approach should put England through to the semi-finals. Ukraine 0-1 England.”