England vs Ukraine: Kane can fill his boots as Three Lions release the handbrake

With Ukraine likely to dig in in Rome, England may be forced to make the most of their attacking armoury in the Euro 2020 quarter-final.

When: Saturday July 3, 8pm BST

Where: Rome

How to watch: BBC

Best bets

England to win by three goals at 11/2

Jack Grealish to assist a goal at 23/10

Harry Kane to score twice at 7/2

Nothing quite makes England believe like a win over arch-rivals Germany.

While their last-16 clash with the Germans was not the best match of the round, you could say that it produced the most emotive moment when an impassioned Wembley erupted at Raheem Sterling's opener.

Ukraine, on the other hand, had a huge battle against Sweden in their last match, so what kind of condition they are in from a physical point of view may be a key factor.

Euro 2020 form

England

England 1-0 Croatia

England 0-0 Scotland

Czech Republic 0-1 England

England 2-0 Germany

If champions grow into a tournament, then England have a right to be feeling pretty good about themselves right now.

Germany, France, Netherlands, and Portugal are already out, Italy lost their swagger against Austria and Belgium seem to be struggling with injuries.

Meanwhile, England seem to be consistently improving and they may be keeping their biggest weapons for when it matters most.

Ukraine

Netherlands 3-2 Ukraine

Ukraine 2-1 North Macedonia

Ukraine 0-1 Austria

Sweden 1-2 Ukraine (AET)

Ukraine sneaked into the knockout stage as the worst of the best runners-up, so reaching the quarter-finals is some achievement already.

It's quite difficult to expect too much more from them given the fact the two games they have won so far have been against the lowest-ranked team in the competition and a side with 10 men.

That said, they also gave the Netherlands a scare so few in England should be taking them lightly.

England to release the handbrake?

England, on paper, may have the most talented squad in the competition, certainly from an attacking point of view.

You know there is an embarrassment of riches when even Jadon Sancho can only get six minutes of game-time in four matches.

So far, Gareth Southgate has been content to use those talents from the bench, and you'd have to say he has done it masterfully so far.

However, this is a game that may demand the abandonment of caution. Ukraine are unlikely to want to go toe-to-toe with England, so expect them to sit in and try to frustrate instead. That means England will need their creative players from the start.

Jadon Sancho ready to seize his chance
Jadon Sancho ready to seize his chance

England squad

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ben White

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling

Ukraine under siege?

Ukraine were involved in a real battle against Sweden and although they won the game there were also some walking wounded after the match.

Andriy Shevchenko is likely to keep his cards close to his chest in terms of which players will be available, but it's reasonable to assume Ukraine will have to dip into their squad a little for the quarter-final.

That may not be a bad thing for them. Their plan will be to frustrate for as long as possible and hope to pinch something, or take their chances with penalties.

Fresh legs and discipline will therefore be required, but an early goal for England and you do worry it could unravel quickly for the Ukrainians.

Ukraine squad

Goalkeepers: Georgiy Bushchan, Andriy Pyatov, Anatolii Trubin

Defenders: Eduard Sobol, Illia Zabarnyi, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Denys Popov, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Vitaliy Mykolenko, Oleksandr Karavaev, Mykola Matviyenko

Midfielders: Serhiy Sydorchuk, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Mykola Shaparenko, Marlos, Yevhen Makarenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Viktor Tsygankov, Taras Stepanenko, Andriy Yarmolenko, Oleksandr Zubkov, Heorhii Sudakov, Roman Bezus

International head-to-head

England wins: 4

Draws: 2

Ukraine wins: 1

Goalscorer bets

England have been waiting a while for Harry Kane to get himself into the tournament, and he certainly arrived with his goal against Germany.

Now he's here, though, expect him to get himself going. You can get odds of around 7/2 for him to score a brace against Ukraine and that looks decent value.

Jack Grealish created Kane's goal against Germany, which was his second assist of the tournament, and his craft may be needed again in Rome. Back him again to bag another assist in this one.

Artem Dovbyk was Ukraine's matchwinner against Sweden and he may well be rewarded for that with a place in the starting line-up. Back him at around 10/1 for the first goal as Ukraine try to give themselves something to cling onto.

* Odds correct at time of publication

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