عالمية عالمية

England’s next opponents: Four things Gareth Southgate learned about Ukraine

England boss Gareth Southgate would not have celebrated long following the win over Germany on Tuesday night.

The Three Lions went through to the quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over Joachim Loew’s men at Wembley in an incredible game in front of 45,000 fans that created a raucous atmosphere.

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane got on the scoresheet to put England’s hoodoo against Germany in major tournaments to bed.

And they travel to Italy now to take on Ukraine at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday.

Southgate would have watched the match between Andriy Shevchenko’s men and Sweden and will have noticed some threats and weaknesses.

Malinovskyi main man

Ruslan Malinovskyi can cause England some trouble

The Atalanta star was a shining light for the Ukrainians throughout the contest after coming on in the second-half.

It was a surprise that he did not start but surely would have done enough to make an appearance in the line-up for Saturday.

If Ukraine look to take the game to England, Malinovskyi will be their biggest threat going forward.

Left-flank dangers

It will be no surprise for many to see Oleksandr Zinchenko as one of the danger men and he was brilliant against Sweden on Tuesday night.

The Manchester City ace opened the scoring for the Eastern European country with a wicked left-footed strike.

And he was pivotal for the winner – in the third minute of added-time in extra-time – with a beauty of a cross for Artem Dovbyk to nod home.

But his defensive partner Mykola Matviyenko is equally as important, allowing the City ace to parade forward while Pep Guardiola has been interested in the Shakhtar star in the past and it is easy to see why.

Oleksandr Zinchenko starred for Ukraine in their win over Sweden

Defensive structure

Much like England, Ukraine look best in a back-three with two wing-backs with their strength coming from out wide.

Southgate will have to be wary about their counter-attacking ability while expecting to have the majority of possession.

But if the Three Lions maintain their momentum from Tuesday’s victory, anything is possible.

How far can England go in the Euros? Have your say in the comments below.

Shevchenko factor

Andriy Shevchenko is leading this Ukraine team to glory

The Ukraine manager is a huge part of this team – he is their best-ever player and is now looking to take them into unprecedented territory in the Euros.

If France and the Netherlands can attest to anything, it is “do not rule out the little guys” with shocks coming thick and fast this summer.

Shevchenko has galvanised a side without any standout stars and made them a very tough outfit to play against and England must prepare for a real battle come Saturday night.

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