Group D sees two of the most unpredictable teams in world football slotted together. While France have made a mess of their last two international campaigns, England have failed to win anything since their World Cup win in 1966. Throw Sweden and Ukraine into the mix and we have an absolutely intriguing Group D to watch out for.
On paper, England and France are favorites to go through. But with an inspired Zlatan Ibrahimovic in form, Sweden are no pushovers. Likewise Andriy Shevchenko would be looking at this as his last opportunity to make his mark on the international stage and Ukraine would be motivated in doing well in front of their home crowd.
The former Soviet Republic, Ukraine come into the tournament as co-hosts and not having to go through the qualifying process. As the second lowest ranked team in the world, Ukraine are the underdogs in Pool D comprising of the mighty French and English alongside an ever improving Sweden.
Ukraine’s preparations for the Euros have been far from impressive after losses to Austria and Turkey in friendlies but wins over Belgium, Austria and Estonia and an impressive 3-3 draw with Germany over the past six months would ease the nerves for Oleg Blokhin’s side as they participate in the European Championships for the first ever time.
Key Player: The Ukranian squad lacks superstars and household names but one name that the defenders across the world will look upon with fear is that of Andriy Shevchenko. At 35, the former AC Milan legend and Chelsea striker is definitely past his prime but his experience at the highest level will come in handy as he looks to inspire Ukraine to slug it way past the group stages in front of his home crowd
Other Stars: Andriy Voronin, Andriy Yarmolenko
Prediction: Group Stages
Though a partisan and passionate crowd will be cheering them on, Ukraine stands only an outside chance of progressing in a highly competitive group. The home support might just be what they need as they are more than capable of playing party poopers by holding off either England or France.