Manchester City utility man Oleksandr Zinchenko insists Ukraine will fancy their chances against England in their Euro 2020 quarter-final encounter on Saturday.
Ukraine squeezed past Sweden in the round of 16 on the back of Zinchenko’s breathtaking individual display.
The 25-year-old opened the scoring with a blistering half-volley before setting up Artem Dovbyk for a last-gasp winner.
However, the Ukrainians’ hopes of reaching the semi-finals in their first-ever appearance in the European Championship knock-out phase face a formidable challenge in the quarter-finals.
After taking Group D by a storm, the Three Lions inflicted revenge on Germany for the 2010 World Cup heartbreak, securing a comfortable 2-0 triumph in their mouth-watering last-16 showdown.
Gareth Southgate’s men will take the field at the Stadio Olimpico as the only side to qualify for the quarter-finals without conceding a single goal.
However, it will be the first time at Euro 2020 that England will be stripped of home comforts, having played their previous four matches at Wembley.
Zinchenko is aware of the quality Southgate has at his disposal but believes Ukraine can take that as an added incentive to stage what would be a massive upset.
“I watched almost all of their matches at the Euros except for (Germany),” he told The Independent. “I know many players of the team personally, thanks to the matches in the Premier League.
“It is very difficult to score for this team. It is a great team with a fantastic selection of performers.
“If you look at their bench, there are players worth, probably, like three national teams of Ukraine.
“But this should not frighten us, but rather motivate us. I have already felt that everything in this life is real. I will personally do my best to achieve the result in the next game.”
Adding to Ukraine’s confidence, they have played out back-to-back draws with England ahead of this fixture, though they last met in September 2013.