Ukraine vs. France Live Stream: Online Viewing Info for Euro 2012 Match
Ukraine will make a bid to keep itself atop the Group D standings when it takes on France on Friday, the third-favorite to win it all at Euro 2012. Needless to say, this is a crucial must-win for the French.
After France and England played to a draw earlier this week, the pressure was on for each of them to win their next game or else risk a surprising elimination.
While England has it easy and gets to take on Sweden—the team with the second-longest odds of winning Euro 2012—France gets to deal with the co-host nation, which will have the raucous support of the hometown crowd behind it. And Ukraine will need that support in order to beat a team that destroyed it 4-1 in Donetsk last year in an international friendly.
If France doesn't get the job done on Friday, it risks an incredibly early ouster from this spring's main event. You can keep up with all of the action using ESPN's live stream.
Where: Donbass Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine
When: Friday, June 15, 12 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3
Player to Watch for France: Yann M'Vila
France coach Laurent Blanc decided not to play him in the opening matchup against England because of the lingering effects of an ankle injury, but he can't afford to let the Rennes midfielder sit this time around. He's likely to start on Friday, replacing Alou Diarra.
There's no better time for M'Vila to make his grand entrance, either. France needs a spark, and he's precisely the player who can offer it, as well as the kind of speed and rhythm the French were missing against England.
With Rennes in 2011-12, M'Vila made 48 appearances, registering a goal and two assists.
Player to Watch for Ukraine: Andriy Shevchenko
When Ukraine needed some come-from-behind heroics to take care of Sweden in its first game, it had to look no further than Shevchenko, who registered both goals in Ukraine's 2-1 win. So much for being too old at 35.
Who gets the win on Friday?
He did, however, play 80 minutes in the matchup, so whether he can be as effective against France—or whether he can play anywhere near as many minutes—remains to be seen. Still, France coach Laurent Blanc is smart enough to be wary of the veteran striker. He told France 24:
He doesn’t have the legs of a 20-year-old anymore, but he makes such clever runs that he still manages to be efficient. … He has the art of making you forget about him and then all of a sudden he pops up where you never expected him. The great players always turn up for the big games, even at his age.
Prediction: France, 2-1
It will be close and Ukraine won't make it easy, but there will be no come-from-behind heroics this time around for the co-hosts. France will finally have the team it wants on the field with M'Vila back, and Shevchenko won't be fresh enough to carry his team to victory over the formidable French.
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