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Confident England face Ukraine in Euro quarterfinal showdown


Ukraine’s players attend an MD-1 training session at the Olympic Stadium in Rome on July 1, 2021 on the eve of their UEFA EURO 2020 championship quarter-final football match against England. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

England will step out in Rome this evening for their Euro 2020 quarterfinal against Ukraine. The Three Lions have never made it to the final of the competition, their best performances being semifinal appearances in 1968. They also made it to the last four in 1996, when England staged the European Championships.

England put through their paces in their final training session at St George’s Park yesterday before they flew to the Italian capital, Rome.

Gareth Southgate and his 26-man squad looked in high spirits during the workout yesterday morning. If England beat Ukraine, they will be looking ahead to a semi-final at Wembley.


The entire playing squad took part in the session in Burton-upon-Trent, with Southgate pictured smiling as he chatted to Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier.

The Three Lions squad left the UK for the first time since the tournament started. If they come through today’s test in Rome, England will face either Denmark or Switzerland at Wembley next Wednesday, before Sunday’s final in the same stadium.

There appears to be a very positive mood in the camp. Despite Southgate’s good mood, the England boss does have plenty to consider going into today’s game, with four of his players at risk of missing the semi-final if they pick up a yellow card.

Maguire, Declan Rice, Phil Foden and Kalvin Phillips all run the risk of a ban if they are booked against Ukraine and England get through, before all bookings are wiped ahead of the last four.


Trippier, meanwhile, has been nursing a muscular injury but did train with the squad yesterday, hinting that he will be fit to feature today.

Ukraine have appeared in only three UEFA European Championships – Euro 2012, 2016, and the ongoing Euro 2020. Before 1996, some of their players played for the then Soviet Union national team.

Ukraine have won only one of their seven matches against England, losing four and drew two. AC Milan legend, Andriy Shevchenko, had no coaching experience when he joined his nation’s backroom team in 2016 but he is now proving himself a fine man-manager. On June 11, 2012, Ukraine claimed their first ever victory at the European Championship: a 2-1 win over Sweden.


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