You've got a Fab record, lads, just beware of pain in Ukraine

10 October 2009 12:57
1950 AND ALL THATVictory against Ukraine and Belarus would see Fabio Capello's side emulate the England teams of 1950 and 1954 in remaining unbeaten throughout qualification.

The big difference is that they played only three matches in those days, the HomeInternationals against Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland doubling up as World Cup qualifiers.

Old school: England keeper Bert Williams denies Willie Bauld of Scotland at Hampden in a qualifier for 1950

THE PRIDE OF EUROPEEngland's record-breaking qualification has been built on goals and discipline. Their total of 31 goals is the highest of any team in Europe, giving them the highest average of goals per game (3.88) from the second highest shot-to-goals conversion rate (26 per cent).

Meanwhile, they have received only two yellow cards the joint second-lowest total and no reds.


GOALS PER GAMEEngland3.875Germany.3Bosnia-H2.625Slovakia.2.625Spain2.625

GOALS TO SHOTSSlovakia.29.17%England.26.05%Bosnia-Herzegovina25.30%Kazakhstan21.74%Israel.20.73%

YELLOW CARDSGermany.2England.6Rep of Ireland6Sweden.6Russia8

THE OPPOSITIONThere will be a couple of familiar faces in the Ukrainian line-up. Premier League flopsAndriy Shevchenko and Andriy Voronin managed only 14 goals between them in 73 appearances for Chelsea and Liverpool.

Flop idol: On-loan Hertha Berlin striker Andriy Voronin failed to impress at Anfield

At the back, manager Oleksiy Mikhailichenko has something of a crisis with Dmytro Chygrynskiy, Barcelona's £20million summer signing, and Andriy Rusol both missing through injury, while Vitaliy Mandzyuk is suspended.

THREE TO WATCHANATOLIY TYMOSHCHUK (BAYERN MUNICH)The 30-year-old holding midfielder recently joined Bayern Munich for £12millionafter impressive performances in Zenit St Petersburg's 2008 UEFA Cup-winning side.Ukraine's vice-captain, his job will be to sit in front of the defence in the screening rolemade famous by Claude Makelele of France, Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Danger men: Tymoshchuk (L) and Milevskiy (R) will pose a threat to England


The striker's form has been such that captain Shevchenko has been forced to play in an unfamiliar role on the wing.

Milevskiy, 24, is a tall, skilful target man in the mould of Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


A right-sided midfielder who can also play full-back, Gusev, 26, is gifted and quick,and could pose problems for Ashley Cole.

Head-to-head: Dynamo Kiev utility man Oleg Gusev has met with Rooney before

A MUST-WIN FOR UKRAINEVictory would leave them needing to beat Andorra in their final match to ensure a play-off place.

Anything less and they could be pipped by Croatia who finish off in Kazakhstan.

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Source: Daily_Mail