Euro 2020: Titanic challenge for Ukraine; Face off against star-studded England at the Stadio Olimpico in the quarter-final

Rome: It was a victory of its kind for the Englishman as they won against the mighty Germans for a place in the last eight. And for the Harry Kane-led side the opposition, Ukraine might been a easy outing at least on paper.

However, the game of football always has the funny side, and on a given day anything could happen, as these teams take to the Stadio Olimpico, here on Saturday for yet another classic game.

Turns out, though, that Saturday's quarterfinal match at the Stadio Olimpico might be England's toughest test of the European Championship.

That's because it's the only match of Euro 2020 that England will have to play away from the friendly confines of Wembley Stadium.

Making matters more complicated is that the Italian government has explicitly warned Britain-based England fans to stay away from the game unless they can prove they have observed five days of quarantine since arriving.

For a team like England that is known for its travelling supporters, that's a major blow.

"We've got to create our own atmosphere on Saturday in Rome, which we're capable of doing," said England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who has kept four clean sheets in the tournament.

"The fans were tremendous the other night and throughout the group stages as well. I think that gives us added motivation for the game on Saturday to come back for a semifinal with 60,000 fans."

The winner between Ukraine and England will play either Denmark or the Czech Republic in the semifinals on Wednesday at Wembley, with the final also scheduled for England's home stadium.

For Ukraine's coaching staff, meanwhile, playing in Italy is a homecoming.

Head coach Andriy Shevchenko was one of Serie A's most prolific scorers during his playing career with AC Milan, while assistant coach Mauro Tassotti is from Rome and began his playing career at the Stadio Olimpico with Lazio before going onto a long and successful career at Milan as both a player and assistant coach.

"If the Italians support us because we're the weaker team that's absolutely fine," Tassotti said. "I'm really hoping the fans give us some big support."

England has enormous talent but they've also had the advantage, like other nations, of playing only at home.

Expect an old-fashioned Italian catenaccio (lockdown defense) and counterattack approach from Ukraine to deal with talented England strikers Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, who accounted for the goals in the 2-0 win over Germany.

But the bigger goal for England at this point is to duplicate the success of the 1966 team that won the World Cup and lifted the trophy on home soil.

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Free Press Journal