Glenn Hoddle: It's not going to be easy against Ukraine but we have to fancy our chances

Raheem Sterling
Will it be more of the same from Raheem Sterling and England?

Former England manager and international Glenn Hoddle looks ahead to Ukraine v England where he is expecting more of the same from Harry Kane, Jordan Pickford and the rest of the Three Lions

"I don't think he'll take the reins off against Ukraine. He's got a balance and managers are always looking for balance. This England team aren't conceding goals and the goalkeeper is having a really good tournament, so you go from there. We've got talent and goal scorers."

Not going to be easy against Ukraine

Ukraine have some match winners in their team. They know their system and Gareth will have to think about matching them again, or he might come up with something different.

Yarmolenko is wonderful player for his country. He does well for West Ham coming off the bench, but he looks a different player when he plays for his country, he's confident and wants to play with a swagger.

Ukraine have a really hard-working side and they have Shevchenko with his experience of English football. It's not going to be easy but we have to fancy our chances.

Andriy Shevchenko 1280.jpg

England can win this without conceding

I do think we'll win, and this might just see us take off.

I don't want to get carried away but I can see a good win and a 2-0 or 3-0.

Hopefully it will be a great way to get through with another clean sheet and Kane to score.

England can lift the nation again

The Three Lions can lift the nation after the pandemic, that's already been lifted to a certain degree after what happened against Germany. We've all got to calm down from there and go again. They'll never have a better chance and they're within touching distance of getting to a final although it will be a tough game against Belgium, Italy or Spain if they get that far.

From the semi-final it's like the tournament starts fresh, it's a new tournament in England. It's a new tournament in the last 16 and it becomes a new tournament with Wembley hosting the semi-finals and final. Let's just hope these players know they're never going to get a better opportunity and let's hope they go out and do the business against Ukraine. I do think they will, but there's quality all over the pitch in international football, and Ukraine are a big side so England will have to watch themselves at set-plays. If we get through this Ukraine match, it's back in England and our tournament.

It's within touching distance. If someone had said you're going to play Ukraine, and a semi-final against Denmark or Czech Republic - who you've already beaten - you would take it.

This is a massive game for England. The problem is for us, and the country, the pressure is on because everyone is expectant.

If we were playing Germany in the quarter finals, everyone would be in this mode that we were for four days before the German game. Now it's Ukraine, it's not a case of 'we're favourites and we're going to win that easily' that's not going to happen. It will be a tight affair with England taking our chances when they come. England haven't really turned in a nine out of 10 performance where everything been functioning correctly. We're getting the results without conceding a goal, but it's not based on defensive football, we're solid at the back but with a threat going forward.

Don't be surprised if we don't see Phil Foden back in the team, don't be surprised if there's a few changes. That's what Gareth has up his sleeves

Go for the throat if we score early

World football is getting much tighter and the days when one team dominated, like Germany in the 70s, are over. Teams can be turned over by almost anyone these days, as the French found out. It's been that all the way through this tournament, Ukraine is a banana skin that could go against us if we're not on it and complacency sneaks in.

You always want an early goal in a game, but we've then got to go for the throat if we do and not get complacent.

It's not going to be easy and this tournament has thrown up some surprises, so we've got to be vigilant.

Rice or Philips could be rested

I don't think he'll take the reins off against Ukraine. He's got a balance and managers are always looking for balance. This England team aren't conceding goals and the goalkeeper is having a really good tournament, so you go from there. We've got talent and goal scorers.

Harry Kane's scored and he's going to go on a run, I'm pretty sure of that.

Harry Kane shadows 2 1280.jpg

The positives outweigh the negatives for England by a mile, let's trust Gareth to pick his team and do it for the right reasons. He'll watch every Ukraine game and know them inside out. England will go out and give it their best shot.

It won't be as emotional as the German game, they'll have to get their heads down and get the job done. The English public and the fans out there won't care if they get through one-nil as long as they're in the semi-final. England can win games from the bench. Jack Grealish came on against Germany, and if it wasn't him it could have been Phil Foden or Mason Mount. Those three players are wonderful and they are all on the bench, and England's bench will really come to the fore if any game goes to extra time.

Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips might be a bit fatigued, but Southgate will really want to select them again if he can. Rice ran himself into the ground, as he got himself forward more against Germany and now he's got to recuperate. Gareth might now change one of them and give them a rest, he'll see how they're doing in training but won't change too much. If he goes with a back three and wing-backs against Ukraine, then he'll go as similar as he can to the Germany game, but maybe with Reece James on the right side. Southgate has so many options.

Travelling to Rome won't trouble England

The players should adjust easily for Rome, but they have been used to travelling to Wembley and playing in a home environment on repeat and now it's slightly different. Ukraine are used to it of course because they've been flying around Europe throughout the tournament and that might just change the scenario a bit. England are professional enough and these players travel a lot in Europe so this won't be a problem. And it's not Baku, it's Rome, which is a fabulous place and England got a very good result last time they were there.

On England in Rome 97

What a performance we put on there to qualify for the 1998 World Cup. They had 17 games and hadn't lost in the Olympic stadium and was quite an incredible time to go, our last game of qualification. It was a titanic performance from the players and we should have won that. We played well enough to win it. We needed the point and we did it in style, we played some lovely football against a good Italian side. I remember five or six of the staff having a huddle at the end of the game and I just hope Gareth and his staff will do the same on Saturday because it was a special moment. Gareth was in that squad, let's hope that brings back good memories for him.


Get a £5 Free Bet on Multiples - Every Day!

Place £20 worth of Multiples or Bet Builders over the course of a day, and, after the bets have settled, you'll get a free £5 bet to use on Multiples or Bet Builders. Bets must settle before 23:59 on the day they're placed. No opt-in required, T&Cs apply.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles