Euro Team Preview - UKRAINE

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Group Stage

Ukraine's Euro Schedule

Date Fixture Location
13th June 8pm Netherlands v Ukraine Amsterdam
17th June 2pm Ukraine v North Macedonia Bucharest
21st June 5pm Ukraine v Austria Bucharest
Click here to read a full Group C preview

Road to the Euros

Ukraine enjoyed their best ever qualifying campaign, emerging unbeaten and top of a competitive group that included Portugal, Serbia, Luxembourg and Lithuania. Home wins against each of the first two of those teams put them in the driving seat, while draws in the reverse fixture maintained their domination of the group. Indeed, a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty was the only goal the Ukrainian defence conceded in their five home wins during the campaign, while a last-minute equaliser in the final qualifier in Serbia preserved their unbeaten record.

Current form

It was a less happy story in Ukraine's Nations League campaign, in which they were left in the wake of Spain, Germany and Switzerland in what was a testing group. They did beat both Spain and Switzerland on their own turf, but the fact that they conceded ten goals in their three away defeats perhaps betrays their weakness on foreign soil against top opposition. Their World Cup campaign kicked off in March, and it's too early yet to determine if their three straight 1-1 draws against France, Finland and Kazakhstan will be seen as points gained or points dropped. They warmed up for the Euros with a narrow 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland, before finishing their preparations on a high note with a 4-0 win over Cyprus.

Squad assessment

Under the guidance of Andrey Shevchenko, Ukraine have grown into a team that should not be underestimated, and they will have high hopes of reaching the Euro knockout stage for the first time. Their line-up is built on a platform of a solid defence that conceded just four goals in eight qualifying games, despite some occasional error-strewn performances from veteran goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov. Ukraine are strong in midfield, where they are capable of breaking up play and converting slick possession into quick breaks to open up opposing defences. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Mykola Shaparenko should be pulling the creative strings, while West Ham's Andriy Yarmalenko is always capable of moments of imaginative flair, although he might be limited to appearances from the bench. Ahead of them , they will be looking to give quality service to Roman Yaremchuk, who is likely to lead the line after banging in 23 goals for Ghent last season.

Key players

While Yaremchuk and Yarmalenko might catch the eye as the fans' favourites, a key player in Ukraine's ambitions remains Oleksandr Zinchenko. For Manchester City, he has adapted to Pep Guardiola's role for him as a left wing-back, but his preferred position is the central midfield role that he fills for his country. His skill set shines in the confined areas of the middle of the park, where his tight control and quick-footed distribution can turn defence into attack in a couple of touches.

Click below to read more about each of Ukraine's Group C opponents:

Netherlands, Austria, North Macedonia