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(QF) Ukraine 0-4 England - Saturday 3rd July, 2021


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Fully expect Ukraine to beat England in this, if their players have a good recovery after tonights fight. Shevchenko seems like a good coach who can adapt to certain situations, unlike Löw today. Well not just today. 

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Should be a comfortable win but if we go into it thinking that, then we might get ourselves into trouble.

They'll most like park the bus which means little space to play in so a tricky players like Grealish or Foden that can make quick passes and try something different should probably be brought into the side. Saka has been great but I think you bench him for this. Maybe also bring in Mount for either Rice or Philips. I expect Southgate to play it safe though and we won't see big changes. Either way, should be 2-0 or better.

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Ukraine looked out on their feet from about 80 minutes onwards last night, as did Sweden as well I might add. 

This tournament has come at the end of a totally unique season where teams were playing every three days for the duration of the season, not only that players were made to play three internationals during the break periods. I think I've seen a few nations look totally fatigued and off the pace. 

England on the other hand have looked one of the most prepared squads and I pretty much have trust in any player they bring into the eleven. I actually think it could be a good idea to freshen things up against Ukraine, I know Southgate more then likely won't but I'd start Grealish, Sancho and Rashford. 

Not being cocky or anything but I think Ukraine are the weakest of the QF teams and I also believe they along with Sweden and Wales were the weakest last 16 side. 

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I would actually be shocked if we slipped up against Ukraine Saturday but we must not get cocky like France. They thought it was done at 3-1 Monday and then look what happened, they've packed their bags and gone home.

The good thing is, I don't think we have that kind of arrogance in this squad. You can just tell there is a great spirit and togetherness, bred from players who have been criticised for not being good enough to make the step up to players who have lost form and want to prove the critics wrong.

All the players and Southgate are saying the right things. They acknowledge Germany was a big game for sure, but it's done now, it will all be for nothing if we don't go on further and they are bang on.

I think we'll be fully focussed on Saturday, no doubt about it. We never beat a 'big team' usually in a tournament and this will have given huge belief and confidence we can go far now.

And the fact we have the golden carrot dangled in our face of two potential 'home' matches should we beat Ukraine is huge. 

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Had to share my thoughts somewhere. So here they are:

I am trying to not get too carried away with the England hype train building up steam.

England will apparently never have a better chance than this.

But I remember just a couple of years ago the 2018 World Cup being described in a rather similar way.

So who knows what Qatar 2022 may have in store...

But to my memory, England most frequently beat those they appear better than on paper. And lose to those who really do have that extra gear & level they can take it to, beyond England's capabilities.

I do have concerns that Southgate's defensive tactics may just leave too much to do too late in a match. And Ukraine seem like a squad with high motivation levels & a couple of genuinely decent players. If they do get past Ukraine, well Denmark won in 1992 & perhaps less famously now Czechoslovakia won in 1976. (I know this is just the Czech bit now)

But every side in this tournament must be looking around & thinking who is left in the Last 8 maybe doesn't seem quite so daunting as they may have expected the Q-Final line up to seem like. It's certainly not a time to relax. But a time to stay focused. To play the opponent with the same intensity as though they were Germany, or defending champions Portugal, or the reigning World champs France, etc. Not 'just' Ukraine. Or 'only' Denmark. Or indeed the 'English'.

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13 hours ago, shut up said:

Ukraine are an average team. Struggled in the group stage (despite them having one of the easier groups) and were very lucky to scrape through to the knockouts. Needed 120 minutes to beat an uninspiring Sweden. 

I'm hoping we don't play too open though, keep it tight and take our chances

2-0 England 

How was their group easy? It had the Netherlands and Austria in it! xD Yes, they defeated Sweden in extra time, as if it's easy to beat Sweden, a very solid and tough side. Spain didn't manage to breach the Swedish defence and in fact Sweden had two golden opportunities to win their match against the Spanish. While Sweden disposed of Lewandowski's Poland with relative ease, in a match they didn't even need to win.

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I think Southgate does need to change it up a bit for this game. Whilst we did well yesterday, too often Sterling looked like our only attacking threat. Play like that again and Ukraine will just double-mark him for 90 (or 120) minutes and then where's our main attacking threat coming from?

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5 hours ago, Devil said:

Ukraine looked out on their feet from about 80 minutes onwards last night, as did Sweden as well I might add. 

This tournament has come at the end of a totally unique season where teams were playing every three days for the duration of the season, not only that players were made to play three internationals during the break periods. I think I've seen a few nations look totally fatigued and off the pace. 

England on the other hand have looked one of the most prepared squads and I pretty much have trust in any player they bring into the eleven. I actually think it could be a good idea to freshen things up against Ukraine, I know Southgate more then likely won't but I'd start Grealish, Sancho and Rashford. 

Not being cocky or anything but I think Ukraine are the weakest of the QF teams and I also believe they along with Sweden and Wales were the weakest last 16 side. 

You can't compare Wales to Ukraine or Sweden mate. As a team, the latter two have more talented players. Wales are clearly the the weaker team out of the 3. Sweden are on a par with Denmark and we saw how Denmark destroyed Wales. Wales have their key players who we all know about, but the rest of the players are average. Ukraine are certainly not the weakest team left in this competition either. They topped their qualifying group and were undefeated in their group. They defeated Portugal in their group and destroyed Serbia 5-0. They have also beaten Spain in competitive competition and drew away to France in Paris. I'd say that they are arguably better than half of the teams that are left and have the potential to beat all of them on their day. I say this as I regularly watch and know all the players who are going to be playing in the quarter finals. Just as an example, Ukraine beat Switzerland relatively comfortably only last September, I watched that full competitive match and it was a thoroughly deserved win.

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14 hours ago, Tommy said:

Fully expect Ukraine to beat England in this, if their players have a good recovery after tonights fight. Shevchenko seems like a good coach who can adapt to certain situations, unlike Löw today. Well not just today. 

That's just it, I don't think it will be enough recovery time for Ukraine. They've just played 120 minutes of intense football and they will have to travel from Glasgow to Rome. I said I was confident that Ukraine would beat Sweden prior to yesterday's match, but I don't think they will have enough to beat England under the current conditions. England haven't had the ordeal of having to travel around Europe during this competition in their previous matches. They finished the job in 90 minutes against Germany and will clearly be less knackered than the Ukrainians. Ukraine have several players out injured and the rest will be pretty tired after yesterday's clash. I would have given Ukraine a bigger chance of beating England had they had more days rest between now and their quarter final match. As it stands, I see England as probably winning their game against Ukraine. 

But you are correct about Shevchenko, he was vindicated with his his decision to make radical changes to his teams formation and the players adapted well to it. As for Germany, the one silver lining is the fact that the excellent Flick will now take charge of the mannschaft. Under his intelligent guidance, I foresee a very bright future for the German national team.

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28 minutes ago, Michael said:

That's just it, I don't think it will be enough recovery time for Ukraine. They've just played 120 minutes of intense football and they will have to travel from Glasgow to Rome. I said I was confident that Ukraine would beat Sweden prior to yesterday's match, but I don't think they will have enough to beat England under the current conditions. England haven't had the ordeal of having to travel around Europe during this competition in their previous matches. They finished the job in 90 minutes against Germany and will clearly be less knackered than the Ukrainians. Ukraine have several players out injured and the rest will be pretty tired after yesterday's clash. I would have given Ukraine a bigger chance of beating England had they had more days rest between now and their quarter final match. As it stands, I see England as probably winning their game against Ukraine. 

But you are correct about Shevchenko, he was vindicated with his his decision to make radical changes to his teams formation and the players adapted well to it. As for Germany, the one silver lining is the fact that the excellent Flick will now take charge of the mannschaft. Under his intelligent guidance, I foresee a very bright future for the German national team.

Alternatively, England & Ukraine played on the same day.

It's not England's fault Ukraine went to ET with Sweden and also suffered the injuries.

England will be travelling to Rome for the first time. Maybe Ukraine are used to adjusting to travelling and playing in different locations?

 

Just playing devil's advocate by the way. I do actually agree the scheduling and different locations are terrible and don't like the multi-host thing.

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I look at this England side, and the clean sheets are a little misleading as they will give you a chance and I don't see them being able to outscore the opposition either. I can absolutely see them being able to grind out a path to the final, but against Spain/Italy/Belgium, they've not got enough in the tank to beat one of them. 

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1 hour ago, Michael said:

You can't compare Wales to Ukraine or Sweden mate. As a team, the latter two have more talented players. Wales are clearly the the weaker team out of the 3. Sweden are on a par with Denmark and we saw how Denmark destroyed Wales. Wales have their key players who we all know about, but the rest of the players are average. Ukraine are certainly not the weakest team left in this competition either. They topped their qualifying group and were undefeated in their group. They defeated Portugal in their group and destroyed Serbia 5-0. They have also beaten Spain in competitive competition and drew away to France in Paris. I'd say that they are arguably better than half of the teams that are left and have the potential to beat all of them on their day. I say this as I regularly watch and know all the players who are going to be playing in the quarter finals. Just as an example, Ukraine beat Switzerland relatively comfortably only last September, I watched that full competitive match and it was a thoroughly deserved win.

I think Bale and Ramsey upgrade that team enough to be just as competitive as Ukraine and Sweden. 

Take the two top class attacking players out and they aren't competitive I agree. 

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1 minute ago, shut up said:

We've got enough in the tank to beat all three. Italy struggled against Austria ffs and Spain against Poland and Sweden xD

Five at the back and spring them on the counter attack and I'd agree, I certainly don't fear the remaining three big sides as much I did France, Portugal and Germany at the start of this tournament. 

Italy of the three I would like to avoid because of that defence. Belgium have injuries to key players and Spain look like they need to score more than one goal against everyone as they can't defend. 

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4 minutes ago, shut up said:

We've got enough in the tank to beat all three. Italy struggled against Austria ffs and Spain against Poland and Sweden xD

And England struggled against Scotland, Croatia, and Czech Republic, and were outplayed for a substantial period against one of the worst German teams in two decades.

Knockout tournaments are tricky. You cannot use every match performance and treat it onto the next. It's the kind of thinking that has teams bottle it. Amidst their attacking limitations, Italy are still the most comfortable team left in the competition. 

 

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16 minutes ago, shut up said:

Even Belgium's defence is terrible. Vermaelen, Denayer and Alderweireld are garbage. Vertonghen not much better. Our defence is much more resilient than theirs. Italy will be tough but did you see what Austria did to them at a neutral venue? England could easily do the same at home. Not even arsed about Spain tbh. 

France were the only scary team at this tournament and they're gone. 

 

Agree on the Belgium defence, they are well past it, Vermaelen!!

Italy is a difficult one, we should judge them after the Belgium game as I don't think they've been actually tested yet by a decent side. Austria aren't great and like you say they gave them a game based on heart and determination, which is exactly why we shouldn't rule out the other three sides in our side of the draw. 

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5 minutes ago, shut up said:

You were right about everyone now calling this a terrible German team if England beat them xD

Can't remember people saying that after they smashed Portugal 4-2...

It’s always the way. If England win, it’s because everyone else is shit, yet teams get praised for beating shit England teams. You can’t make it up. It’s definitely not the best German team ever and they’re almost in some kind of transition, but they weren’t shit.

(Not saying you’ve said this Thomas X)

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The best thing about this tournament is that there is no overwhelmingly great side in it, the further you go now the more it becomes a free for all as all the perceived better sides have fairly exploitable weak spots. A fully fit Belgium you'd expect would smash everyone, but no de Bruyne or Hazard and now it's a different team.

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40 minutes ago, shut up said:

You were right about everyone now calling this a terrible German team if England beat them xD

Can't remember people saying that after they smashed Portugal 4-2...

Is this directed at me? Because me criticising Germany was far and away from the point I was making. 

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3 hours ago, Stan said:

Alternatively, England & Ukraine played on the same day.

It's not England's fault Ukraine went to ET with Sweden and also suffered the injuries.

England will be travelling to Rome for the first time. Maybe Ukraine are used to adjusting to travelling and playing in different locations?

 

Just playing devil's advocate by the way. I do actually agree the scheduling and different locations are terrible and don't like the multi-host thing.

Yeah, it's not England's fault that Ukraine have suffered injuries and that their match with the Swedes went into extra time. I'd say it's not even England's fault that they have been allowed to host all their games until now. But the reality is that some sides have had to do a lot more travelling than others, that's just a fact. In a compressed, high intensity competition such as these Euros, the extensive travelling that some teams have had to endure, is bound to take a toll on them. I don't think it's something that teams can adjust to so quickly. The travelling takes time out of their schedule, tires the players somewhat and forces them to adjust to new environments. I think all the teams would want to play at home as opposed to travelling to other countries to play their matches, so I think there's our answer. 

With this particular match, I just believe it could be one step too far for the Ukrainian team. I think that England are much fresher than the Ukrainians for obvious reasons and at this level, that could be one of the factors that plays out in England's favour.

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