Underdogs Ukraine stand between England and Euro 2020 semi-final

England manager says win over Germany to reach quarter-finals will count for little if they fail to make the semis.

England will face Ukraine in Rome, having played their first four games on home turf [Frank Augstein/Reuters]

When: Saturday, July 3
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 19:00 GMT

England will be on their guard against surprise Euro 2020 quarter-finalists Ukraine in Rome on Saturday with manager Gareth Southgate warning his side to not look too far ahead and underestimate their underdog opponents.

After beating old rivals Germany in a knockout match for the first time since the 1966 World Cup final, Southgate said that win will count for little if they lose to Ukraine.

“We’ve achieved one challenge but that’s not the Everest we set ourselves,” Southgate said. “We want to push on.”

“It’s another chance for the team to make history. We’ve moved on from Germany pretty quickly and it’s not easy because you get all these lovely messages. But the mindset has got to be about Saturday. Not beyond Saturday.”

The draw has opened up nicely for England, who will be favoured to beat a side coached by former Ballon d’Or winner Andriy Shevchenko.

England will face Ukraine in Rome, having played their first four games on home turf.

A more subdued atmosphere awaits at the Stadio Olimpico, where the number of England fans among the permitted capacity of 16,000 is expected to be limited.

England supporters have been warned not to travel to the Italian capital for the game as COVID-19 restrictions mean even those with tickets cannot use them.

Italian health regulations require fans travelling from Britain to observe five days of quarantine and therefore they would miss the match.

Underdogs Ukraine are 24th in the FIFA world rankings – 20 spots below the Three Lions – and were the last of the third-placed sides to progress to the last 16.

Ukraine are attempting to make the last four of a major tournament for the first time since the break-up of the Soviet Union, having matched their run to the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup.

“We will do our best, try to surprise them. But we know that to get past them we will have to play the best game of our lives,” said Ukraine midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko.

The winner will take on either the Czech Republic or Denmark, who play earlier on Saturday, in their quarter-final.

Source: News Agencies

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