The sense of euphoria at Wembley Stadium was clear for everyone to see after England had triumphed against Germany. This crucial crossing of paths between old rivals meant everything to the largely partisan home crowd. This was much more than just a victory; it was a mixture of redemption and revenge for the Three Lions.
England had beaten Germany for the first time at a tournament knockout phase since 1966, at the 1966 World Cup they hosted. After so many long years of waiting, the English fans are now hoping they can go all the way at Euro 2020. Having progressed to the quarter-finals, the next opponent standing in their way is Ukraine, scheduled for Saturday 3 July at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Heading into this tie, the latest Ukraine v England betting odds favour the side led by Gareth Southgate, currently backed at 4/11 to get the job done within 90 minutes. Meanwhile, the squad managed by Andriy Schevchenko are clearly regarded as the underdogs, valued at 8/1 odds to cause an upset.
It was night to remember – but we’re not done yet!
Next stop: Ukraine on Saturday 👊 pic.twitter.com/knwOQAA8T6
— England (@England) June 30, 2021
After their excellent performance against Germany in the Round of 16, England also leads the outright betting at 15/8 to win Euro 2020, with reactionary shortening off odds aided when France was eliminated by Switzerland in the same round, with the pre-tournament favourite suffering a shock defeat on penalties.
If England can beat Ukraine and progress to the semi-finals, England would face either the Czech Republic or Denmark, making their path to the final appear to be the easiest on paper. In the other half of the quarter-finals bracket, Switzerland will be looking to cause another upset against Spain in St Petersburg, while Belgium will do battle with Italy in Munich.
Nevertheless, the England camp is taking absolutely nothing for granted. “We have got to accept the expectation and have to be able to handle that,” Southgate insisted, in comments highlighted by the Daily Express. Although conscious that English supporters can practically taste Euro 2020 success, “we want the fans to be excited,” he concluded, as that enthusiasm provides the team with additional inspiration.
⚽️ All-time top scorer for national team
🔝 First coach to take Ukraine to EURO last 8
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 29, 2021
Whilst more than conscious his team face a monumental challenge in the quarter-finals, Shevchenko believes that his Ukraine side has nothing to fear. “They are incredibly difficult to score against but their strength shouldn’t scare us,” he told reporters in comments published by Goal, full of belief in the team he leads.
“It should motivate us because everything is possible in football,” Shevchenko enthused, confident that Ukraine will be more than worthy opponents, after beating Sweden in the Round of 16. “We will play our hearts out,” he concluded. Given such confidence by the former international striker, England would be mistaken if they think this will be an easy tie.
Given the growing appetite for success amongst the English players, buoyed by such an important and historic win against Germany, the Three Lions are clearly hungry to fulfil their ambitions of winning Euro 2020. Amidst the expectation amongst fans that football could finally be coming home, England will need to temper their confidence with focus, if they are to end years of impatient waiting.