Team Preview: Ukraine

FIFA Ranking: 50

Euro history: Ukraine hasn’t qualified for an Euro before as an independent country. They were part of the Soviet Union before.

How they qualified: Ukraine automatically qualified as a host country.

Group information and schedule: Ukraine is in Group D with Sweden, France and England. All games will be played in Ukraine.

June 11 vs. Sweden in Kiev

June 15 vs. France in Donetsk

June 19 vs. England in Donetsk

Early roster thoughts: Ukraine’s roster is dominated by players who suit up for Ukrainian clubs Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donestsk. It is also an aging team that is led by forward and captain Andriy Shevchenko. The former AC Milan and Chelsea striker has netted 46 international goals in 107 appearances. The two players who play their club soccer outside Ukraine are defensive midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuck and forward Andriy Voronin. Tymoshchuck started at center back for Bayern Munich in the Champions League final last month. Voronin currently plays for Dynamo Moscow and used to play for Liverpool.

How they will do: On paper Ukraine isn’t a strong squad. Most of their players are past their prime and the young guys are unproven. However, Ukraine has two things going in their favor. One of their group opponents, England, has had three key players ruled out of the tournament due to injury in Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill. Also, the home field advantage could help Ukraine go to the quarterfinals. The Ukrainian fans have been waiting years for this tournament to begin.

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