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Preview: England vs Ukraine – prediction, team news, line-ups

England host Ukraine on Sunday evening, hoping to further strengthen their bid to qualify for the 2024 European Championships.

Gareth Southgate’s side made a winning start to their qualifying campaign, defeating Italy at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona thanks to goals by Declan Rice and Harry Kane.

As for Ukraine, this is their first game of the group, and their first outing for over six months. Having been drawn in a relatively difficult group, they will be desperate to make a positive start.

Match Preview

The head-to-head record vastly favours the home side. Since Ukraine became an independent nation in 1991, the pair have met eight times.

From these clashes, the Three Lions have won five and lost just one, most recently defeating their opponents 4-0 in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.

Off the back of the win in Naples, England will be in high spirits. A win on Sunday would put them in a very strong position going forward in their qualification campaign.

However, the victory against Italy wasn’t met with complete approval. A dominant first-half performance was marred by a weak display after the break, with critics questioning whether manager Southgate has enough to produce top-class performances from start to finish.

The Blue and Yellow have not featured since the end of the Nations League group stages. They lost only one of their six Nations League matches, but finished second behind Scotland.

Since then, a new hope has emerged in the form of winger Mykhailo Mudryk. The youngster made his breakthrough on the European stage earlier this year, and earned himself a big-money move to Chelsea in January. At his best, he could do serious damage to any opponent.

International Form


England 0-0 United States
Wales 0-3 England
England 3-0 Senegal
England 1-2 France
Italy 1-2 England


Ukraine 3-0 Armenia
Ukraine 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Scotland 3-0 Ukraine
Armenia 0-5 Ukraine
Ukraine 0-0 Scotland

Team News

England have two fresh absences from Thursday’s game. Luke Shaw picked up two yellow cards and is subsequently suspended, while Reece James has withdrawn from the squad through injury. Ben Chilwell is likely to come in at left-back.

Having been given just 12 minutes last time out, Phil Foden is likely to make a start. Kieran Trippier could also make his way into the line-up ahead of Kyle Walker if Southgate opts for a more attacking approach.

The most notable absentee from the visiting side is Illya Zabarnyi. The 20-year-old, who has already been capped 24 times, misses out through injury.

He is joined on the sidelines by goalkeeper Dmytro Riznyk, defender Yukhym Konoplya, and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Oleksandr Zubkov.

England potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford; Kieran Trippier, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Ben Chilwell; Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson; Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden; Harry Kane.

Ukraine potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): Andriy Lunin; Oleksandr Karavayev, Mykola Matviyenko, Denys Popov, Vitaliy Mykolenko; Taras Stepanenko, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk, Mykhailo Mudryk.

How to Watch

Residents of the United Kingdom will be able to watch the game on Channel 4 and All4.

We Say: England 2-0 Ukraine

England are the favourites for this game, but they cannot afford to underestimate their opponents. Ukraine have plenty of talented players in their side who are capable of providing a threat.

Nonetheless, it’s one that the hosts ought to be winning. We expect Ukraine to put up a strong fight, but England should have enough to get another three points on the board.

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