England should 'go for the throat' early against Ukraine, says Glenn Hoddle

Ahead of England’s clash against Ukraine on Saturday night, former England boss Glenn Hoddle has spoken about his thoughts on the Three Lions’ chances.

Following England's 2-0 victory against Germany on Tuesday afternoon, Gareth Southgate's side have marched on to the quarter-finals where they will now face Ukraine.

Goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane handed England their third victory of the tournament. Jordan Pickford earned a fourth successive clean sheet in the process. 

Meanwhile, Ukraine progressed to their first quarter-final with an extra time last-minute winner against Sweden under Andriy Shevchenko.

England will be keen to get the job done against Ukraine in Rome and set up a semi-final against either Denmark or Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium.

Ahead of the highly anticipated match-up, former England boss Glenn Hoddle has been speaking to Betfair about his thoughts on the Three Lions' chances.

While many have suggested that England's victory over Germany has set them on an easy path to the final, Hoddle was quick to point out Ukraine's threat.

"Ukraine have some match winners in their team. They know their system and Gareth [Southgate] will have to think about matching them again, or he might come up with something different."

"[Andriy] Yarmolenko is a wonderful player for his country. He does well for West Ham coming off the bench, but he looks a different player when he plays for his country, he's confident and wants to play with a swagger.

"Ukraine have a really hard-working side and they have [Andriy] Shevchenko with his experience of English football. It's not going to be easy but we have to fancy our chances."

England have historically not lived up to expectations in knockout matches, and have occasionally been victims of complacency, something Hoddle claims England need to avoid against Ukraine.

"World football is getting much tighter and the days when one team dominated, like Germany in the '70s, are over," the former England boss said. "Teams can be turned over by almost anyone these days, as the French found out.

"It's been that all the way through this tournament, Ukraine is a banana skin that could go against us if we're not on it and complacency sneaks in.

"You always want an early goal in a game, but we've then got to go for the throat if we do and not get complacent.

"It's not going to be easy and this tournament has thrown up some surprises, so we've got to be vigilant."

Kane to inspire England to glory

Harry Kane's performances have been a major talking point so far in England's campaign, with the Tottenham Hotspur man struggling to carry over his form from club to country.

Whether speculation around his future affected him or not, Kane's goal against Germany was his first of this summer's tournament, and Hoddle expects the striker to now kick on.

"Harry Kane is off the mark and I think we'll see the best of him - and not just because he's scored, but because he's grown in confidence. Kane might be the one that drags England over the line and helps us win this.

"When he ran to the corner flag after he scored you could see all the emotion. He might say he wasn't stressed but that reaction to scoring is a release.

"Alan Shearer went through it before Euro 96, top strikers all go through it, and they'll always say they're not worried, but you could just see in his celebration that there's something going on in the chemistry of his body in that release he had and the confidence he had after that in his all-round play, holding up well and being involved in moves more than before.

"Harry will do everything now with a smile on his face after the chains have been taken off his shoulder and this is fabulous news for England.

"We have this player who has scored more goals and got more assists than anyone in the Premier League - probably the toughest league around - and now he could be firing on all cylinders."