England will field a centre-back who is fifth choice for his club. Andriy Yarmolenko needs just four goals to become Ukraine’s leading goal scorer, overtaking legendary Andriy Shevchenko.
Poland’s Tarczynski Arena will be brimming with Ukrainian supporters, a welcome change for a team that has had to play all their games on the road. This will give Sergey Rebrov’s team, swept aside by England in March, a significant boost.
That loss to England was followed by victories against Malta and North Macedonia, where they came back from two goals down to prevail, putting them second in Group C. The Blue and Yellow are without midfielders Mykola Shaparenko and Genoa’s Ruslan Malinovskyi but welcome the return of Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko. Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk, who has failed to get going in the EPL, has a chance to show what he’s capable, should be partnering Yarmolenko up front.
This is England’s only competitive game until 17th October, so Gareth Southgate will field his strongest available XI before mixing things up in the friendlies against Scotland and Australia. The Ukrainians are likely to face Saka, Kane, Rashford, Bellingham and Maddison and, in defence, Harry Maguire will probably partner Marc Guehi.
Bayern striker broke Wayne Rooney’s England goal record against Italy and he is likely to add more to his total in this game.
England have beaten every team they’ve faced in qualifying, have conceded just 1 goal and scored 15. A win in Wroclaw will all but confirm their place at Euro 2024 in Germany next year. They top Group C and are six ahead of Ukraine and nine clear of Italy.
The Three Lions have been dominant and should be able to once again get the better of Ukraine for a win which would virtually confirm their place at next summer’s Euros. No one would blame Rebrov if he prioritised the meeting with the Azzurri in Milan next week, but anything Ukraine can get from their meeting with England would certainly help them to seal second spot in the group. After missing out on the last World Cup, Ukraine are looking for an immediate return to international tournament to lift the mood at home.
England might find it hard work on their travels, but they should eventually have the quality to get the job done.
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