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Euro 2020: Why Ukraine could be a tough test for Gareth Southgate and England

England have a crucial game against Ukraine in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
England have a crucial game against Ukraine in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
ANALYST

England will be playing away from Wembley for the first time at Euro 2020 when they take on Ukraine in the quarter-finals of the tournament.

The Three Lions have enjoyed the home advantage in all their matches so far and it has proven to be very beneficial. England are yet to lose or even concede a goal in the competition.

However, it will be a totally different proposition in Rome, where a highly motivated Ukraine team awaits them. Like England, Andriy Shevchenko’s side has had a pretty good run thus far.

The Blue and Yellow qualified out of Group C as one of the best third-placed teams but were very impressive in their 2-1 win over Sweden in the last-16.

England’s best shot to win Euros

Looking at the result of Ukraine’s last match, they cannot be underrated. However, England have a unique opportunity to finally end their trophy drought. The Three Lions have never won the tournament and the last time they played in an international final was in 1966 when they beat Germany to win the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate’s side, though, have been lucky to get a favourable route in Euro 2020. While Italy had to go through Belgium and now Spain to reach the final, England will face one of the Czech Republic or Denmark if they defeat Ukraine.

Surely, the Three Lions have what it takes to get past all these opponents to reach the final. With France, Belgium, Portugal and Germany all eliminated, this could be England’s best shot at winning the Euros.

English complacency could help Ukraine

While the Three Lions are huge favourites to win this contest, any form of complacency could derail their chances of winning.

Ukraine have proved to be a very tricky side and they will be a hard nut to crack. That means England would have to be at their best to win this game. Southgate has already warned his side against being complacent. Playing in Rome also means the atmosphere is likely to favour Shevchenko and his side.

"This is now a fantastic challenge for us. We have watched Ukraine over the last year or so. But, of course, not many of them are playing in the Bundesliga or the English Premier League. There's obviously a couple who are," the England manager said in his pre-match conference, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"And then there is this perception that all we've got to do is turn up, and we are on our way. We're very clear now that the total focus is on Saturday. We have to prepare the game in the right way and our mentality is critical."

England have all it takes to win this game and anything less would be considered an upset. However, Ukraine are tough customers and could be a slippery peel if the Three Lions slack.


Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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