Oleksandr Zinchenko says Ukraine require ‘game of their lives’ to beat England in quarter-finals on Saturday.
Ukraine hope to deliver the next Euro 2020 upset when they face England in their Rome quarter-final; Zinchenko: “We realise that to get through all the players and the whole team, they will need to play probably the best game of their lives”
Having reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the following year’s Nations League, Gareth Southgate is now looking to lead the Three Lions to a first European Championship semi-final since 1996.
England are coming up against a Ukraine side looking to make history, having seen their only ever previous major tournament quarter-final appearance end in a 3-0 defeat to Italy in the 2006 World Cup.
Versatile Manchester City player Zinchenko is the biggest name in the Ukrainian side and knows his team face an uphill battle against some familiar faces at the Stadio Olimpico.
Andriy Shevchenko has urged neutral fans to come and support Ukraine against England
“I will say that numbers speak for themselves,” Zinchenko said of England. “The fact that England hasn’t conceded any goals yet, they play very well in defence.
“But I think that there are no perfect teams. Every team has weaknesses.
“With regards (Kyle) Walker and (John) Stones, they played an amazing season and during the last couple of years I’ve been playing with them they play at a very high level.
“It will not be easy. We know it. But at this stage of the tournament, everything is possible and I think that the coaching team will explain to us what to do with it and we will do our best.
“We will try to surprise them but of course we realise that to get through all the players and the whole team, they will need to play probably the best game of their lives.”
Shevchenko cleared West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko for the quarter-final and is keeping tabs on the progress of Oleksandr Zubkov, who trained individually ahead of the game.
Ukraine reached this stage by overcoming 10-man Sweden 2-1 in extra-time at Hampden Park on Tuesday, having been the lowest ranked third-placed side to qualify from the group stage.
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