WARSAW - The Donetsk jinx hanging over Ukraine will forever be forgotten if the Euro 2012 co-hosts can beat England at the Donbass Arena after four failed attempts.
They may well have to do so without national hero Andriy
Shevchenko, scorer of two goals in their win over Sweden, after
the 48-goal striker was rated as “50-50” by coach Oleg Blokhin
due to a knee injury.
Blokhin has said all sorts of quirky things during the
tournament so England will not be fooled and will be lifted by
the return of their own spearhead Wayne Rooney after suspension
as they seek the point they need to advance.
The last time the teams met Ukraine ran out winners at home
in a World Cup qualifier, so the prospect of victory is not too
remote and will keep fans hopeful that at least one of the
co-hosts will make the knockout stages after Poland’s failure.
Group D leaders France, on four points, face eliminated
Sweden in Kiev at the same time knowing victory would probably
hand them a quarter-final against Italy, also in Kiev.
France, into their stride after dismantling Ukraine in the
last match, should beat eliminated Sweden side who have not
beaten the 1998 World Cup winners in more than 40 years.