Date: 2nd July 2021 at 6:12am
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England ended 55 years of hurt by knocking Germany out of a major tournament on Tuesday. 

Gareth Southgate has made a habit of putting niggling hoodoos and jinxes to rest since taking charge of the Three Lions.

A first ever penalty shootout victory in the World Cup, a first win away to Spain in 31 years, a first ever opening game victory in the European Championship, just to name a few.

But they all pale in insignificance in comparison with a first knockout stage victory against the Germans since 1966, and this is also forgetting the assured and confident manner the Three Lions swept Joachim Low’s side away.

While the scenes of jubilation and energy at Wembley Stadium were on a par with a victory in a final, England are still only in the quarter-finals and will take on Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.

Managed by former Chelsea and AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko, this is a talented, resilient and impressive Ukraine side who must be respected.

We take a look at the three players Southgate must pay attention to ahead of this weekend’s titanic clash.

Roman Yaremchuk

Yaremchuk scored a tremendous header against the Netherlands in their opening group game.

The powerful centre forward has taken his excellent club form into the European Championship and is currently Ukraine’s join top scorer at the competition.

A real fox in the box, the 25-year-old Gent striker is a defender’s nightmare combining intelligence, instinct, and aerial prowess to get the better of defenders from all levels.

He found the net 23 times in 43 appearances in all competitions for Gent this season, and he already has goals against the Netherlands and North Macedonia in the Euros.

England will have to nullify the routes into the striker’s territory, which will be easier said than done as Ukraine boast a host of players who can whip in a cross onto a six pence – Harry Maguire and John Stones especially will need to be at the very top of their game.

Oleksandr Zinchenko 

Zinchenko plays as a central midfielder under Shevchenko.

You will be used to seeing Zinchenko burning up and down the left flank for Manchester City as a left back, however, when he dons the yellow or blue of his country, the 24-year-old is a classy midfielder who is a real handful for the opposition.

He is an excellent, well-visioned passer of the ball and his fantastic half volley against Sweden in the Round of 16 stage also proves he can find the net as well.

Moreover, after winning his third Premier League title in four years, reaching the Champions League final and getting to the knockout stages of the tournament; he is currently bursting with confidence and the England midfield will have to ensure he is not given much space.

Andriy Yarmolenko

Yarmolenko has scored two goals for the Ukrainians this tournament.

Sometimes the international shirt alone can transform a player and Yarmolenko is the classic example.

At West Ham, minutes and appearances have become very hard to come by for the former Borussia Dortmund forward, however, for the Ukraine he is the captain, leader, talisman, and the biggest threat.

Yarmolenko curled in one of the goals of the tournament against the Netherlands and he followed it up with another vital goal against North Macedonia the next match.

He is a classic inverted winger who will drift onto the right side and then cut on to his favoured left side, where he will either look to shoot or bend an audacious in swinging cross.

His ability is unquestionable so it is of paramount importance he is not allowed to cut onto his left foot – do not be surprised if Southgate starts Kieran Trippier as an inverted left back to counter this threat.

 
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