England have a great chance of reaching the semi-final of the European Championship and some pundits are also predicting them to go on and win the trophy.
The Three Lions face Ukraine in the quarter-final this weekend and not a lot of people see them faltering in this match, especially since they are yet to concede a goal in the tournament and have beaten Germany in the previous round.
Pundit Jamie Carragher has come out to claim that England could not have gotten a better opponent in this round and he expects them to win this one, despite playing away from Wembley.
He told Sky Sports: “I actually felt before the tournament that there was a great chance for this team to reach the semi-final because of the way the draw was set up.
“They could not have picked anyone better than Ukraine next. I think even of the two teams they would have preferred Ukraine to Sweden. It almost feels like it has fallen in their lap.
“It still won’t be easy. Going to Rome, just that uprooting, you are not in your familiar surroundings, that could have a bearing on the game. But there was no way they could have picked anyone better.”
Will England crumble under pressure vs Ukraine?
Now, there’s no doubt England are the overwhelming favourites to win this match but it’s also true that Ukraine will be able to play a free and nonchalant game since no one expects them to win.
“The pressure is on England not us, we can use this,” midfielder Ruslan Malinovsky said, as quoted. “We’ve learned from the Sweden game and grow more confident.
“The game against England is one in which we must not make any mistakes. But we have shown in the games where we were the underdog that this inspires us to play better.
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“The second half versus the Netherlands and Sweden of course. We enjoy not being the favourite.”
It might look really easy on paper for the Three Lions but this it the first time they will be playing away from Wembley in this tournament and there will be minimal support for them inside the stadium.
To make matters worse, the weather is going to be really intense in Rome on Saturday and as per the reports, the temp could be around 27-29C at the time of kick-off. We doubt if all the English players will be able to survive this heat if the match went all the way to penalties.
England are expected to see this one through without many hiccups but to be honest they played a smash and grab game against Germany and are expected to do the same on Saturday as well. So if Ukraine can manage to hold onto their nerves and take this game to extra time there’s a big chance the Three Lions could be devoid of ideas and falter.