UEFA: Ukraine fans in cautious mood

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June 5, 2012, 10:48 p.m. |

Ukraine's Yaroslav Rakitskyy ,left, and Austria's Julian Baumgartlinger challenge for the ball during a friendly soccer match between Austria and Ukraine in Innsbruck, Austria, Friday, June 1, 2012. (AP Photo/ Kerstin Joensson)

The Ukrainian team camp is in Chapaevka, a small village just inside Kyiv's boundaries. Usually this is the camp of FC Dynamo Kyiv but with nine current and two former Dynamo players as well as much of the coaching staff in the squad, Chapaevka will feel familiar to many. Located near to the city, with pine forests and several impeccable football fields surrounding it, this base was a natural choice.

Despite the perfect home, it may or may not come as a surprise to hear that Ukrainian fans are not overly optimistic about the country's chances. I had a chance to talk to some local supporters and they are wary that their team will not be strong enough to overcome the likes of France and England.

Ukraine have also had to cope with their fair share of injury withdrawals. Goalkeepers Olexandr Shovkovskiy and Andriy Dykan have both been ruled out, while the absence of the experienced Dmytro Chygrynskiy has also weakened Ukraine's defence. As such, much of the media's hopes rest on the team's outstanding wingers, Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka, as well as the talismanic Andriy Shevchenko.

Will Ukraine live up to the cautious mood of the fans, or will the more positive outlook held by some former coaches and players prove to be better placed? Read the story here
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
PET ELLI June 6, 2012, 5:52 a.m.    

Ukraine will be out after the first round,,

France and England will advance,,

They will be lucky if they could beat Sweden,,

Politics and crooked referees will knock Ukraine out, to punish present hard handed government,,,

their coach on the other hand is the best of any Euro teams..

Still , Ukraine will be a winner, as the world will see what a wonderful country Ukraine is, and what an honourable/hospitable friendly kind people Ukrainians really are,,, and will come back for vacations, biz and investments...

hip hip hurray for Ukraine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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paul nicholson June 6, 2012, 7:53 p.m.    

England have many injuries to midfield players and defenders. Rooney is also suspended for the first two matches. The new manager will try to keep it 0-0 and try to score on the break. They will be lucky to win a game. France and one other to go through

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Michael Holthuysen June 6, 2012, 10:40 p.m.    

They will come back for what?

I have been here now two weeks - I have been harassed by your corrupt police at every corner, &quot;enjoyed&quot; kamikaze driving, been ripped off everywhere and anywhere from planes, car rental, hotels to restaurants, traveled on roads that one would call potato fields elsewhere - is that part of the hospitality we supposed to be enjoying?

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