Germany - Ukraine preview: Can the Blue and Yellows pull off a shock against the Euro favourites?

Ukraine take on Germany on Sunday as the two teams start their Euro 2016 campaigns.

Germany - Ukraine preview: Can the Blue and Yellows pull off a shock against the Euro favourites?
Germany vs Ukraine preview | Photo: Vavel

Ukraine and Germany will go head to head tomorrow, as both sides will want to begin the Euros with a winning start. The match will be played at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve-d’Ascq.

Team news

Germany have suffered one or two injuries defensively, with Antonio Rudiger tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and was replaced by Jonathan Tah. Meanwhile the coach, Joachim Löw, has to make a big choice with Mats Hummels who is carrying a calf injury on whether he will be able to start or not.

Germany’s predicted XI: Neuer; Höwedes, Boateng, Mustafi, Hector; Khedira, Kroos; Götze, Özil, Draxler; Müller.

Fortunately for Ukraine, they have more or less everyone available since the confirmation of who will be part of the Euro 2016 squad. The manager Mykhaylo Fomenko has a big task ahead of the game, with Denys Garmash, Serhiy Sydhorchuk and Viktor Kovalenko all wanting to play in the central attacking midfield role.

Ukraine’s predicted XI: Pyatov; Fedetskyy, Rakitskiy, Khacheridi, Shevchuk; Tymoschuk, Rotan, Stepanenko; Yarmolenko, Konoplyanka, Seleznyov.

Head to head

Surprisingly, there have only been five matches played between Germany and Ukraine. Ukraine have taken zero victories on all five occasions. Last time both sides met was in 2011 which was a friendly match at the Olmypic Stadium in Kiev.

Ukraine took the lead through a tap in from Andriy Yarmolenko, the side doubled lead ten minutes later with Yevhen Konoplyanka rounding Ron-Robert Zieler and placing it into the empty net. With not long to go until half-time, Toni Kroos pulled one back for the away side through a 30-yard screamer.

Ukraine once again restored their two goal lead over Germany, with Serhiy Nazarenko scoring an absolute banger from more than 35 yards. Germany hit back with a goal in the second half, a corner flicked on by Hummels fell to Simon Rolfes who smashed it into the middle of the next. Thomas Müller came on from the bench and his shot from just outside the box embarrassingly went past Oleksandr Rybka to give Germany the equaliser. The game ended Ukraine 3-3 Germany.

Thomas Mueller - Ukraine | Photo: Deutscher Fussball-Bund
Thomas Müller - Ukraine. | Photo: Deutscher Fussball-Bund

Players to look out for from Ukraine’s squad

Ukraine have been looked as the underdogs of the Euro 2016. Many will know a few players from the first team line-up who have been linked with moves to the Premier League in recent transfer windows.

The obvious player to look out for is Sevilla’s Yevhen Konoplyanka, the winger will be looking to create a lot of problems to Germany’s full-back throughout the game. The 26-year-old already has two goals in two games for Ukraine during the International friendly matches. He created 21 chances for Ukraine during the 12 qualifying matches including the play-offs, so he will be the main individual to keep an eye on.

Next is Yarmolenko, the Dynamo Kyiv winger has been on fantastic form for his club and will be looking to replicate it for the national side too. He scored six times during Ukraine’s qualification whilst the rest of the squad couldn’t manage more than three. Yarmolenko has already scored three goals in four appearances for Ukraine during the international friendlies, so he will be another wing alongside Konoplyanka to look out for.

Finally, striker Yevhen Seleznyov, will be a key player leading the line especially with his experience. The 30-year-old has notched up 16 goals this season and will want to carry on this good run during the Euros too. He has returned to Shakhtar Donetsk since making his debut for them back in 2002. He received his first call up to the Ukraine squad during his last season at Shakhtar and has now completed over 50 appearances for the national side.