England vs. Ukraine: Euro 2012 Rematch a Tough Test for Three Lions

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England vs. Ukraine: Euro 2012 Rematch a Tough Test for Three Lions
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

England and Ukraine will meet for the first time since their Euro 2012 match in June when the Three Lions were fortunate to escape with a victory after benefiting from a missed call on the goal line.

Ukraine should have been credited a goal in the second half of that group stage match, but even though the ball completely crossed the goal line, the goal was not given. England survived with a 1-0 victory, which helped them earn a place in the quarterfinal.

Ukraine will be a tough test for England yet again on Tuesday because they play very well defensively, which we saw in the Euro 2012 match.

With England missing Wayne Rooney due to injury, scoring goals might be difficult for Roy Hodgson's squad.

In their last three matches, Ukraine has allowed an average of one goal per game, and with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk playing well in a defensive midfielder role, the Ukrainian back four will be tough to break through.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

England needs striker Jermain Defoe to have a fantastic match on Tuesday, but for the Three Lions to really give their attack some strength, they need the midfield to be aggressive in the final third.

In England's 5-0 victory over Moldova last week in a World Cup qualifying match, midfielders Frank Lampard and James Milner scored a combined three goals. That kind of goal scoring from the midfield will be crucial again with Rooney still unavailable while he recovers from a leg injury.

Since they failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, Ukraine is going to be very motivated to earn a place in the next tournament, and since they played England so well just a few months ago, they will be a confident group on Tuesday.

England needs to capitalize on their scoring chances because there won't be many of them against a disciplined Ukrainian defense. This will be a tough test for the Three Lions, but it's one they should be able to pass.

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