With every passing game, it feels like England is a team of destiny with their home ground, Wembley Stadium in London, hosting the semi-finals and final if the English can beat Ukraine.
But it is those same expectations that could weigh on the Three Lions should they face times of adversity. Despite a 2-0 win over Germany that will have turned some skeptics into believers, there is still an air of fragility in coach Gareth Southgate’s England. Much of this stems from a track record of falling short in major competitions, but there are also questions about whether the English are too conservative and cautious given the talent on the roster.
The other dynamic at stake for the quarter-finals: England will not play in front of the Wembley crowd as they did in their first four matches. The quarterfinals against Ukraine will be played in Rome, without the support of the itinerant English. quarantine rules for UK travelers imposed by the Italian government.
There are no such complexes with the Ukrainian national team, which are playing with house money after making history by exiting the group stage. He took advantage of a red card from Sweden in the round of 16 to continue his unexpected run into the elite round of 16 of the competition despite suffering two group stage losses.
Ukrainian legend and coach Andriy Shevchenko has the charisma and arrogance to make his team believe he can provoke another surprise. Just a few weeks ago, the Ukrainians led France to a 1-1 draw on the road in qualifying for the World Cup.
How to watch England vs. Ukraine
- Date: Saturday. 3rd of July
- Hour: 3 p.m. ET
- Television channel: ABC
- Spanish television: Univision, TUDN
- Transmission: fuboTV, ESPN App, ESPN3, TUDN.tv
The quarterfinals will be available in English on ABC and in Spanish on Univision and TUDN. Both networks can be broadcast on fuboTV (7-day free trial).
Initial England-Ukraine lineups
Gareth Southgate returns to the team’s 4-3-3 after lining up a 3-man central defense line to match Germany’s tactical setup in the round of 16. Ukraine, like Germany, will also deploy a 3-man defense line.
After his recent transfer to Manchester United, Jadon Sancho will have the upper hand over Phil Foden. And Chelsea’s Mason Mount also returns to the starting lineup after staying out of the Germany game as he missed practice time in self-isolation as a close contact on a positive COVID-19 case.
Southgate praised the Ukrainian front row in the run-up to the match and Andriy Yarmolenko, the team captain, is in shape after coming out of the last match. The Ukrainians will be left without striker Artem Besedin after a torn knee ligament suffered in the terror tackle that resulted in Sweden’s red card in the round of 16.
Ukraine (5-3-2, from left to right): 1-Bushchan – 22-Matviyenko, 16-Mykolenko, 4-Kryvtsov, 13-Zabarnyi, 21-Karavaev – 17-Zinchenko, 5-Sydorchuk, 10-Shaparenko – 9-Yaremchuk, 7-Yarmolenko
England (4-3-3, left to right): 1-Pickford – 3-Shaw, 6-Maguire, 5-Stones, 2-Walker – 19-Mount, 4-Rice, 14-Phillips – 10-Sterling, 17-Sancho, 9-Kane
England vs. Ukraine: odds and prediction
This will be much closer than many expect.
England have faced Ukraine in Euro 2012 (1-0 win) and the Three Lions are 4-1-2 all-time against Ukraine. The last two matches occurred during Qualification for the 2014 World Cup and both matches were draws.
Much has been made of England’s four consecutive shutouts to start the tournament, but it’s worth noting that the expected goal count against in those four games is actually 2.9. We’ll see if they can keep that up against a Ukraine team that has forwards who can create chances.
Ukraine could very well be the first team to score a goal against England (the Ukrainians have scored six times in four games) and that would make two specific pillars attractive: both teams to score and England to win and win. both teams to score.
After that, it all comes down to the margin of England’s victory. If you think there is a chance of it being more than a goal then England’s Asian Handicap -1.25 should be an interesting play given the risk / reward.
Prediction: England 2, Ukraine 1
Fees courtesy of DraftKings
- England win (90 minutes): -215
- England to advance: -500
- Draw (90 minutes): +330
- Ukraine wins (90 minutes): +700
- Ukraine to move forward:+385
- Both teams will score: +130
- England win and both teams to score: +300
- England -1.25 Asian Handicap: +110
- Ukraine +1.25 Asian Handicap: -127