Oleksandr Zinchenko says Ukraine must find a way to stop the “amazing” Raheem Sterling but they should not fear facing England in a Euro 2020 quarter-final on Saturday.
Ukraine beat Sweden 2-1 after extra time at Hampden Park on Tuesday courtesy of a last-gasp winner from Artem Dovbyk.
Andriy Shevchenko’s side travel to Rome to face the Three Lions at the Stadio Olimpico, with Gareth Southgate’s side having beaten Germany 2-0 at Wembley.
Sterling opened the scoring for England with his third goal of the tournament before Harry Kane sealed the victory.
Zinchenko, who was on target in the win over Sweden, knows Ukraine will have to keep a close eye on his Manchester City team-mate in the Eternal City.
“Raheem Sterling is one of the best wingers in the world. Right now he is in amazing form,” said the full-back.
“He is great, he makes the difference. We obviously need to pay attention to him and we will need to try to somehow stop him because he’s on a roll now.
“Who is the strongest opponent that I have ever played? I have said several times that it’s the footballers from Manchester City, those that I see every day at training.”
England are the only team in the tournament who have not conceded a goal but Zinchenko says Ukraine should be motivated by the challenge of breaching their resolute defence.
“It is really difficult to score against England, they are really well organised,” said Zinchenko.
“They have a really good set of footballers and the substitute bench probably costs [the same] as three Ukrainian teams.
“This shouldn’t be really scary for us, this should motivate us. We need to give ourselves the highest aims, the highest goals, and I am sure that the coaching team will get the strategy for us.
“I sense myself that everything is possible in this life and we will do everything we can for it. I’ve watched pretty much all the games that England have played, except today because we were getting ready for our game.
“The first thing that I noticed is I know quite a lot of those players personally because I see them in the Premier League.”
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