Poland goalkeeper Artur Boruc is surprised Ukraine have not made more of an impact at Euro 2016.
Boruc, who lost out to Lukasz Fabianski in the fight to replace the injured Wojciech Szczesny in Poland’s last game – a 0-0 draw with world champions Germany – thought Ukraine would be a threat in Group C but that has not materialised with Mikhail
Fomenko’s side already eliminated having lost both their two games.
“Am I surprised that they have had such bad results? I am somewhat,” he said at a media conference on Sunday.
“They have good players, especially on the wings, but for some reason they have not been able to show it.”
Poland have, at least, lived up to expectations, their draw with Germany preceded by a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland.
A draw against Ukraine would be enough for them to advance to the knockout stages, or even a defeat if Northern Ireland lose to Germany.
Boruc added: “We are in good shape and we are more focused on us than on Ukraine. I think it’s Ukraine who should be more worried about us than the opposite.”
Szczesny’s availability has yet to be announced but, even if he fails to make it, Fabianski would likely keep his place after his clean sheet on Thursday.
“It is not easy to be on the bench but I know how great my fellow goalkeepers, Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny, are. They are top class players, so it is slightly easier for me to accept sitting on the bench,” he said.
Taras Stepanenko admits Ukraine have made mistakes during their time in France but is hoping for a positive sign-off with a win in Marseille.
He told www.uefa.com: “These matches – against Germany and Northern Ireland – have shown that every small detail matters at such a level and in such a competition.
“You have to pay attention to all the different things discussed during theoretical sessions and training, because almost everything we were talking about during the preparations happened in these games.
“There are a lot of young guys in the team and for many, including me, it was the first major tournament. That is why this is going to be a great experience and lesson for me. I never stop saying that there is no such thing as a negative experience.
“I didn’t expect that we would end up like this but we can only blame ourselves.
“We need to defend the honour of our team, the country and ourselves. And we are playing against our neighbours, Poland – it’s a derby and of course we’d like to go home with some positive emotions. We’d like to play good football and get a result.”
Key Opta Stats:
– Ukraine are unbeaten in the last five meetings between the two sides (three wins), winning the last two. Poland’s last victory was in September 2000 when they won 3-1 in Kiev in a World Cup qualifier.
– This will be the first meeting between the two sides in a major tournament.
– Since winning their first European Championship game (2-1 v Sweden in 2012), Ukraine have lost their last four games in the tournament without scoring a single goal (seven goals conceded).
– Poland have never scored more than one goal at the European Championships (8 games). Their last shot on target at this year’s tournament was 98 minutes ago, in their opener against Northern Ireland.
– Robert Lewandowski scored in the 17th minute of his first European Championship game (v Greece in 2012). Since then, he’s failed to find the net or deliver an assist in the competition in 433 minutes.
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