Familiar foes Ukraine and England will lock horns at the Tarczynski Arena in Wroclaw, Poland, with both parties looking to forge ahead in their quest to secure a spot in the 2024 European Championship tournament.
Kick-off has been scheduled at 5pm on September 9th, and fans can buy Euro 2024 tickets ahead of the mouthwatering encounter, which is expected to be a sell-out.
Ukraine head into the clash as qualifying runners-up from Group C, but they cannot allow complacency to creep into their camp with Italy breathing down their necks.
The Eastern Europeans have taken six points from their opening three fixtures after succumbing to a 2-0 defeat against England at Wembley Stadium in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier match.
However, Serhiy Rebrov would have been pleased with his side’s response to adversity after picking up back-to-back victories against North Macedonia and Malta.
Since Rebrov assumed the vacant managerial role in the Ukrainian dugout in June, there has been a dramatic upturn in the locker room mentality, which appears to have translated into their on-pitch performances.
The former Dynamo Kyiv manager has only overseen four fixtures, but his impressive two-points-per-match average since his appointment leaves plenty to be optimistic about heading to Poland.
However, the Ukrainians have historically struggled against England, winning just one of their last nine encounters against the Three Lions (D2, L6), since a 1-0 win in October 2009.
Ukraine have gone winless in five consecutive meetings with England (D2, L3), failing to get on the scoresheet on four occasions, including the last three in a row.
Back-to-back victories in their previous two games could just be the pick-me-up Ukraine needs as they head into an exciting clash against England – one that has so often delivered plenty of talking points in the past.
While they may have found their feet in front of goal, they will do well to tame the Three Lions, who have been invincible in their Euro 2024 qualifiers campaign thus far.
Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka grabbed a goal each in a three-minute span as England secured victory over Ukraine at Wembley in their opening qualifier fixture.
However, a lot has happened since their comfortable success back in March, with five players from the side that started the tie seven months ago switching allegiances at club level over the summer.
Kane, James Maddison, Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, and Jordan Henderson have all secured lucrative moves to Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid, Arsenal, and Al Ettifaq, respectively.
Gareth Southgate’s trusted starters have hugged the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, with Henderson’s controversial move to Saudi Arabia sparking outrage.
Some things have remain unchanged, with Harry Maguire continuing to face challenges in securing regular playing time at Manchester United.
However, the injury woes in Erik ten Hag’s defensive line-up may offer the former Leicester City defender a chance to redeem himself once club football resumes.
Henderson and Maguire are still expected to play a starring role in Poland as the Three Lions look to inch closer to sealing their spot at the Euros 2024.
Their recent goalscoring prowess is also a solid foundation that the 2020 Euros runners-up can build on, with Southgate’s frontline bagging 11 goals in their previous two games.
Their stellar form in the attacking third has not come at the expense of their defensive responsibilities, with England failing to concede since a 2-1 win at Italy in March.
However, it appears conceding first could be a potential downfall for Southgate’s team, as they have failed to win any of their last six international games after falling behind (D2, L4).
How Arsenal stars could perform
The former Manchester City man will be gearing up to face a handful of familiar faces in Wroclaw, but club allegiances will count for nothing when both nations lock horns.
The 26-year-old has been a staple for the Ukranian national team since making his debut in 2015, featuring 54 times for the Blue and Yellow nation, scoring nine times.
Zinchenko has started twice for his country during the qualifiers campaign, backing his selection with a goal, but his underlying numbers further highlight his importance to Rebrov’s side.
Often deployed at the base of the midfield as opposed to his accustomed left-back role, Zinchenko has provided Rebrov’s side with stability and control in the middle of the park, averaging 61.5 touches per 90.
His 4.5 recoveries per game showcase his exceptional ball-winning ability that could be pivotal for Ukraine in their quest to end their appalling record against England.
Zinchenko’s 67% success rate from dribbles suggests his press-resistant ability could come in handy in the build-up phase, although losing the ball 8.5 times per 90 also makes him an automatic press trigger.
However, his 57% success rate in ground duels is enough to reinforce Zebrov’s confidence in the Arsenal man’s ability to pull the strings from the middle of the park and steer Ukraine to an unlikely victory.
With his first-team spot at Arsenal under threat following the summer arrival of David Raya, Ramsdale will be eager to prove his mettle on the international scene when called upon.
The 25-year-old is yet to feature in the qualifying campaign, with Southgate reluctant to drop Jordan Pickford, who has been one of the better performers for Everton despite their appalling form.
While Pickford has conceded in every game this season, Ramsdale has not been any better, with the Arsenal man failing to inspire confidence with just one clean sheet in four Premier League games.
Ramsdale may once again find himself warming the bench in Poland, but he should be ready to take his chance if Southgate looks in his direction ahead of the clash.
Much has been expected from the former West Ham United skipper since his £100 million move to Arsenal over the summer, but he has so far proven to be money well spent.
Rice has been a regular feature for England in the Euro qualifiers, and his impressive numbers for the Three Lions back up his repeated selection.
The 24-year-old is famous for his ability to break up opposition play with relative ease, so it comes as no surprise that he is averaging 6.6 ball recoveries per match.
Rice has established himself as a dependable force at the base of Southgate’s midfield, proving a commanding presence in ground duels with a 50% success rate while excelling in aerial battles, winning 75% of them.
He could be England’s key to winning the midfield battle with Ukraine as he is rarely dribbled past (0.6 per match), although losing the ball seven times per 90 suggests he could do with more security on the ball.
Saka’s hattrick against North Macedonia automatically puts a target on his back, with the Arsenal superstar announcing himself as one of England’s dangermen.
Often labelled as one of the best right wingers in world football, Saka’s wand of a left foot has returned four goals for the young Englishman in five qualifier fixtures.
He will undoubtedly be looking to continue his imperious international form in Poland and will fancy his chances of thwarting Ukraine again, having notched a goal and an assist in the reverse clash.