5 Ukraine players for England to watch out for

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·3-min read
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Ukraine are England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final opponents in Rome on Saturday.

Andriy Shevchenko’s side reached the last eight with a 2-1 extra-time victory against Sweden.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five players the Three Lions should fear ahead of the clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

Ruslan Malinovskyi

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Ruslan Malinovskyi is involved in a lot of the good things Ukraine do (Justin Setterfield/AP/PA)

The Atalanta midfielder is the heartbeat of the Ukraine team. He dictates the tempo of the play, has excellent distribution with either foot and is crucial for retaining possession. Malinovskyi’s ability to create space and seamlessly move between the lines not only makes his side tick but is also difficult for the opposition to contain. The 28-year-old is a set-piece specialist and has a versatility that means he is as comfortable sitting in front of the defence as he is playing just behind a striker.

Andriy Yarmolenko

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Familiar to England’s players, having plied his trade at West Ham for the past three seasons, Yarmolenko is the second-highest goalscorer in Ukraine’s history – behind head coach Andriy Shevchenko. Shevchenko scored 48 goals in 111 appearances for his country, while Yarmolenko has netted 44 times after getting on the scoresheet twice at Euro 2020 against North Macedonia and Holland. Playing out wide on the right and cutting infield with his dangerous left foot, the 31-year-old is one of Ukraine’s biggest attacking threats.

Oleksandr Zinchenko

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Another player who the Three Lions will know plenty about is Zinchenko. Largely used as a left-back by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, the 24-year-old is deployed in a much more attacking role for Ukraine on the left-hand side of the midfield and has been known to play in the number 10 role on occasion. His versatility is a major boost for Shevchenko and Zinchenko underlined his attacking threat with a goal in the quarter-final win against Sweden.

Roman Yaremchuk

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Roman Yaremchuk has scored twice at Euro 2020 (Robert Ghement/AP/PA)

The 25-year-old striker scored four times for his country in qualifying, including a goal in a 2-1 home victory against reigning European champions Portugal. Yaremchuk netted twice in the group stage against Holland and North Macedonia and has scored 47 times for Belgian club Gent in the last four seasons. He links up particularly well with Yarmolenko.

Mykola Matviyenko

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Mykola Matviyenko (right) is solid at the back for Ukraine (Mihai Barbu/AP/PA)

No player has been selected more times under Shevchenko. Matviyenko has been an almost ever-present at the back while his central defensive partner keeps changing.
Once reportedly a transfer target for Manchester City and Arsenal, the 25-year-old reads the game well, is technically good and comfortable in possession with the ability to hit a long pass. Not shy to make a challenge, Matviyenko is committed to the Ukraine cause.

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