Andriy Shevchenko believes Ukraine’s task of defeating England will be made significantly tougher by the impending return of Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United striker’s two-match suspension ruled him out of his country’s Euro 2012 opener, a 1-1 draw against France, and their thrilling 3-2 victory over Sweden on Friday.
Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll both scored in the win in Kiev and have provided something of a selection headache for Roy Hodgson but the 35-year-old Shevchenko believes Rooney will bring a different dimension to the England team as Ukraine look to prolong their involvement at the tournament.
“I know Rooney is a very good player and someone who can change the team, so we’ll have to see what happens if he plays. He has not played for a month now,” he told Goal.com.
“But the whole England team is very good. They are most dangerous from set-pieces – corners and free-kicks. We will have to watch that.
“England are definitely one of the most dangerous teams here. They had a good result against France and they beat Sweden, so they’ve had a great start.
“But we still have a chance. We know that if we can beat England we’ll qualify for the knockout stage.”
Goals from Jeremy Menez and Yohan Cabaye ensured that Ukraine are still to win a match in Donetsk in six attempts.
Donbass Arena will play host to their must-win Group D match on Tuesday and Shevchenko fears home advantage will count for little should the fans turn on the side, as they did towards the latter stages against Les Bleus.
“Home advantage should help us a lot, but there’s also a little bit more pressure for us. I hope the crowd will be nice to us and we can get a good result,” he said.
The 35-year-old, who provided one of the highlights of the tournament with two goals against Sweden in his side’s first game, insists that he has nothing to prove to English fans after his unsuccessful spell at Chelsea which yielded just nine goals from 48 appearances.
“Listen, I don’t want to talk about my time at Chelsea. That was six years ago. I’m here now and just focused on the Euros,” he said.
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