International friendly preview: Ukraine v France

France will be out to rebound from a disappointing draw in Euro 2012 qualifying when they come up against Ukraine in a friendly on Monday.Laurent Blanc’s team were held 1-1 by Belarus on Friday, but remain top of Group D despite only collecting a point.

Blanc blamed the draw on fatigue during the encounter after some players endured long domestic seasons.

The trip to Donetsk is part of a frantic schedule of games for France, who will also meet Poland in a friendly on Thursday.

Blanc will be able to rotate his squad, but he will also have an eye on September’s vital qualifying matches in Albania and Romania.

Chelsea winger Florent Malouda was a shining light against Belarus, equalising after Eric Abidal had turned the ball into his own net moments earlier.

They come up against a Ukraine side who took until the second half to put their clash against Uzbekistan to bed.

Ukraine, who will co-host Euro 2012 with Poland, struck twice in the space of seven minutes through Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Andriy Voronin to win their friendly on Wednesday.

They will be well-rested in comparison to their opponents with the likes of Voronin and Andriy Shevchenko unused until the second half in Kyiv.

Tymoschchuk, the country’s most capped player, is the vital cog in midfield having applied his trade with German giants Bayern Munich since early 2009.

Shevchenko, 34, has a stellar record at international level with 45 goals in 101 appearances for Ukraine.

Along with Shevchenko is Voronin, who endured a frustrating three-year stint at Liverpool in which he often spent time on the bench and was injured, starting in 2007.

In contrast to Shevchenko, he has struggled at international level with only seven goals in 65 caps, but the talent that has seen in him apply his trade in both Germany and England will ensure he is a threat.

Blanc’s squad, which is tremendously talented, could be weakened depending on fitness and may give Ukraine the opportunity to capitalise on home advantage.

 


Switch to Snack Football to browse all blogs, videos and new featured content
snack football unit grey closesnack football unit green-tick