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England vs. Ukraine: Wayne Rooney Returns For Euro 2012 Group D Match

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By Oliver Platt,

Oleg Blokhin's team must win in order to progress to the knockout stage of Euro 2012 but the fitness of star man Andriy Shevchenko will be touch and go after he missed training


Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole
Gerrard, Parker
Walcott, Rooney, Young

Husyev, Mikhalik, Khacheridi, Selin
Yarmolenko, Nazarenko, Konoplyanka
Voronin, Shevchenko

Wayne Rooney will return to the England team having completed his two-match suspension. He is likely to partner Manchester United teammate Danny Welbeck, although Andy Carroll is also in contention after his goal against Sweden.

Theo Walcott, despite leaving training on Sunday with a minor hamstring complaint, could also be handed a start after his match-winning cameo against Erik Hamren's team. The Arsenal winger, if selected, is likely to replace James Milner, with England adopting more of a 4-2-3-1 formation, but Milner could switch to the left flank with the so far unimpressive Ashley Young dropping to the bench.

Andriy Shevchenko is a serious doubt with a knee injury but is likely to be given every chance to prove his fitness given that Ukraine must win to progress to the quarterfinal. If he is unavailable, Oleg Blokhin is likely to turn to Artem Milevskiy or Marko Devic to partner Andriy Voronin.

Blokhin has fielded the same defense and midfield in both games so far, with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk shielding the back four and Serhiy Nazarenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko supporting the strikers.

  • England has met Ukraine twice in competitive fixtures, with the two sides winning one match each when they clashed during qualification for the 2006 World Cup.
  • The two countries have faced off on two occasions in friendly matches. England have won both, scoring five goals and conceding none.
  • Andy Carroll scored against Sweden but also had the lowest pass completion percentage of any England player. The 23-year-old completed just 19 of his 41 pass attempts.
  • England needs only a draw to seal qualification for the quarterfinal, but must better France's result against Sweden to win the group. The two teams are level on points but England trails France on goal difference by one goal.
  • Ukraine will become the fifth host country out of eight since the first 16-team European Championship in 1996 to fail to progress past the group stage unless it wins in Donetsk.
  • The game on Tuesday could be Andriy Shevchenko's (pictured right) last for his country. He is comfortably Ukraine's all-time top goalscorer having struck 48 times in 110 appearances.
  • Shevchenko aside, Serhiy Nazarenko and Oleh Husyev have the most goals among active Ukraine players, with 12 each in 52 and 74 games respectively.
  • Ukraine will play England twice more when they meet in qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

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