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England vs Ukraine predictions: Where Euros quarter-final clash will be won and lost in Rome

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 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

England will attempt to reach the semi-finals of a European Championship for the first time since 1996 when they battle Ukraine in Rome on Saturday night.

Here, Standard Sport looks at the key issues facing Gareth Southgate ahead of the last-eight tie at the Stadio Olimpico.

Revert to a back four

The three-man defence worked against Germany, nullifying the threat from wide areas and also serving to get Luke Shaw higher up the pitch, where he played such a decisive role in both of England’s goals.

But Southgate may opt to revert to the system he has preferred so far, allowing him to get in more of his attacking talents, especially with Mason Mount back in contention.

Start Jack Grealish

If his cameo on Tuesday has not convinced Southgate he must start the Aston Villa man, nothing will.

Grealish makes things happen, including creating two of England’s four goals so far and playing a key role in another.

With him down one side and Sterling the other, Ukraine will be dragged out of shape trying to contain their runs. In a tournament where England have created very few clear-cut openings, Grealish has repeatedly found the key to unlock defences.

Remember Iceland

If Southgate has spent much of his time trying to unburden his players of the baggage of the past, the memory of defeat to Iceland in 2016 is hard to shift.

Then, as now, the nation was already preparing for the next round.

And as much as Southgate and his players insist they will not take Ukraine lightly, the prospect of a Wembley semi-final hangs over this match. Ukraine will use that as motivation.

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