Oleg Blokhin will be hoping his Ukraine side can kick off their home tournament in style when they face Sweden at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev this evening.
The co-hosts face a tough test against the Swedes, a team with an excellent qualification record, and both sides will see this match as a ‘must-win’ if they are to have any hopes of progressing from the group.
With fixtures against France and England to follow, Ukraine will be hoping the partisan home support will drive them onto victory and help build momentum with the country behind them.
Ukraine and Sweden have played each other three times before with one victory each and one draw suggesting it could be a close game. Sweden won the last game between the sides 1-0 back in August 2011.
There will be some familiar faces in the Sweden team including Sunderland’s Sebastian Larsson. He’ll be alongside fellow Premier League stars such as Blackburn Rovers’ Martin Olsson and Jonas Olsson of West Brom.
Other notable players in the squad include captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic and former Premier League players Olof Mellberg, Andreas Granqvist, Anders Svensson and Johan Elmander.
Ukraine will look towards talisman, Andrei Shevchenko. Their captain, and record goalscorer, is still capable of finishing any chances that come his way.
This was a match preview for the Sportsbyte website. It can be seen published here.