Andriy Shevchenko’s promise to England ahead of Euro 2020 quarter-final vs Ukraine

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Andriy Shevchenko has promised that his Ukraine side won’t be intimidated when they face England in Rome on Saturday.

The Ukrainians booked a date with the Three Lions in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals after securing an extra-time win over Sweden at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.

A last-gasp goal by substitute Artem Dovbyk handed Shevchenko’s side victory in Glasgow, and they now stand in the way of Gareth Southgate’s men.

England will be heavy favourites, but former Chelsea and AC Milan hitman Shevchenko insists his side won’t be scared when the two face off.

"England are a great team, they have a deep bench, an outstanding coaching staff and we are fully aware how tough this game is going to be," Shevchenko said post-game.

"I saw all their three group matches, not today's win over Germany because we had to prepare for our own game with Sweden.

Andriy Shevchenko and Ukraine lie in wait for England now
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“They are incredibly difficult to score against but their strength shouldn't scare us.

“It should motivate us because everything is possible in football as in life and we will play our hearts out to give our fans even more to cheer about."

Oleksandr Zinchenko played a key role in Ukraine’s win over Sweden, scoring their first and teeing up their extra-time winner with a magnificent cross.

The Manchester City man will now come up against a number of his teammates at the Etihad, including Raheem Sterling, who has scored three of England’s four goals at Euro 2020 so far.

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"Sterling is one of the best wingers in the world and right now he is making all the difference for England," said Zinchenko.

"We will need to be at our very best in defence to stop him but it will be difficult because he is on a roll."

What is your scoreline prediction for England versus Ukraine? Comment below.

While England remain unbeaten, Ukraine have reached the last eight despite losses to Netherlands and Austria in the group stage, only reaching the knockout stages as one of the best third place teams and coming in for criticism at home.

Zinchenko added: "It was difficult for me to adjust because a lot of criticism was poured on the whole team and on me in particular.

“Today, we have proved to the whole of Europe that we can achieve our goals.

"I would like to thank the fans, all those who managed to come to the stadium. This is a historic achievement and they should rejoice because moments like this are rare."

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The ‘crazy’ fixture scenario that Derby and Wycombe could face next season

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Derby County's ongoing dispute with the EFL is already messy.

But according to a respected football finance guru, it could get a whole lot messier.

Kieran Maguire, speaking on his weekly Price of Football podcast, has shed new light on the situation involving County.

Last week saw the league publish an 'interchangeable' fixture list should Derby and Wycombe Wanderers swap places. An independent panel fined the Rams £100,000 for breaching accounting rules and asked the club to re-submit three years of accounts.

If it emerges that the club has lost more than £39million in that three-year period, they would be in breach of Financial Fair Play rules and be hit with a points penalty – giving Wycombe a Championship reprieve.

Derby survived on the final day of last season, finishing a point clear of third-bottom Wycombe.

Derby players celebrate their side's safety on the final day of last season

Maguire has now hinted at a potentially embarrassing scenario for the EFL next term, which may involve the two clubs starting the new season in one division only to then swap a few weeks later.

That would be an unwanted first for all parties involved, not least of all the league itself.

Maguire explained: "Derby now have to resubmit their account. I’ve done some calculations.

"The rough figures are that Derby are going to be close to, but not necessarily exceeding, the £39million limit.

Wycombe Wanderers finished third-bottom in the Championship last season but could yet earn a reprieve

“It could come in under that but the EFL could appeal.

"All the time, the clock is ticking to August 7 (when the season starts) and the appeal by either side has to be in by August 18.

"So we could have the crazy situation where Wycombe and Derby – in theory, and I can’t see how this can work in practice – having played two or three games and then end up in different divisions.

"That’s unfair on all the clubs in the Championship and League One.”

Wycombe's owner Rob Couhig waded into the matter last week, accusing Derby of "systematic cheating".

He said: "It is beyond disappointing that a club can systemically cheat and end up with a slap on the wrist.

"You have years upon years of violating the rules. I don't want to sound bitter about it. It is not over yet, obviously. But it just doesn't make any sense."

The Rams were cleared of breaching FFP rules last year. However, the EFL appealed against the decision to an independent tribunal and won the element of the case concerning the amortisation of players.

Wayne Rooney is trying to plan for next season but is having to do so against a backdrop of uncertainty

Couhig added that his club would be willing to sue the Rams for millions of pounds if Wycombe are denied a spot in next season's second tier.

The written reasons in Derby's case are yet to be published. Once they are, the EFL and Derby will have 14 days to appeal.

The new season, as it stands, will see Derby open up their Championship campaign at home to Huddersfield with Wycombe beginning life back in League One with a home game against Accrington Stanley.

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India make late request to ECB for warm-up opposition ahead of England Test series

The ECB are looking to accommodate a late request from India to alter their summer’s tour itinerary and provide warm-up opposition ahead of the five-match Test series against England.

India were originally due to face their own A team in two fixtures here but that was altered to two intra-squad games when their second-string trip was cancelled due to coronavirus issues in April.

However, they are now hoping to play just one such four-day contest and take on a County Select XI over three days in another – both to be played in the north-east where they will be based during the initial fortnight of the tour.

India’s team, led by captain Virat Kohli (right), want warm-up opposition before England Test

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‘We are working through the operations and COVID-19 protocols to ensure we are able to deliver this and will confirm in due course,’ said an ECB spokesperson.

‘The Indian Test team will report to Emirates Riverside, Durham for their pre-Test camp on July 15 and will prepare at the venue until August 1 before heading to Trent Bridge, Nottingham ahead of the first Test starting on August 4.’

County fixtures for New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan were withdrawn for Covid reasons, with all the 2021 tourists expected to facilitate their own match practice in series build-ups. 

Kohli and India’s Test players will arrive in Durham for their pre-Test camp on July 15

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