Confidence will be high in the England camp after taming Germany in the Round of 16. They face underdogs Ukraine, who beat Sweden with a last-gasp winner in extra time. England’s win against Germany was one of their most significant victories in recent times, but they will need to remain focussed on this next fixture to get the job done. Ukraine haven’t progressed in the most comfortable of manners, but they showed plenty of grit and determination against Netherlands and Sweden, and England will need to be wary of their opposition.
However, the odds are heavily in England’s favour as they remain the only team not to concede in this tournament. Southgate’s conservative style may receive groans when it doesn’t produce results but now that England are in the quarter finals, he is receiving plaudits from pundits and fans alike. England’s route to the final looks favourable on paper and this could be their best chance of silverware for a very long time.
Ukraine Team News
Artem Besedin will be out of action for Saturday’s game against England. The Ukrainian striker was on the end of a terrible challenge from Sweden’s Marcus Danielson, which earnt him a red card. West Ham forward and Ukraine’s key man Andriy Yarmelenko came off with an injury but is hoping to start against England. Ukraine will be missing their defender Denys Popov whilst Oleksandr Zubkov’s place in the line-up is doubtful.
Predicted Line-up: Bushchan, Matvienko, Kryvtsov, Zabarnyi, Zinchenko, Sydorchuk, Stepanenko, Shaparenko, Karavaev, Yaremchuk, Yarmelenko (3-5-2)
England Team News
Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell will be ready for Ukraine after they’ve had time to train since self-isolating. Chilwell however is unlikely to start, as Luke Shaw’s performances has solidified his position on the teamsheet. Mason Mount is usually key for Southgate’s plans and is expected to start.
England switched to a three at the back to match the German attack. Although this worked with much success, he may resort back to four at the back, to adapt to Ukrainian tactics. Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have been pivotal at the heart of England’s midfield but have both picked up yellow cards, so Southgate may be cautious. However, as Henderson has only managed 45 minutes during this campaign, Southgate will likely stick to his usual pairing.
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Phillips, Mount, Sterling, Kane, Grealish (4-3-3)
Although Ukraine should no doubt pose a threat, many still expect England to come out on top. I predict that England will get a couple of early goals and look to manage the game well afterwards. Prediction: 2-0.