World Cup 2006 Preview – Ukraine

| Total Words: 362

Outright Odds: 66/1
Group H Winners: 12/5

This will be the Ukraines first major tournament they have qualified for since narrowly missing out every time following their independence in 1991. This time there was no messing about and they became the first European side to qualify for the finals, bar hosts Germany of course.

They suffered one defeat in 12 matches, at home to Turkey, but overall won a tricky group which also featured European champions Greece and perennial qualifiers Denmark with ease.

The Ukraine are managed by Oleg Blokhin, the 1975 European Footballer of the Year and USSR stalwart which saw him collect 109 caps and score 39 goals in the process. His tactics utilise the talents of Andrey Shevchenko but, more importantly, do not have to base every attack around the AC Milan forward as Blokhin prefers to use a 4-3-3 formation.

Shevchenko spearheads the attack admirably, with 28 goals in 63 international appearances, but he is capably backed up by Bayer Leverkusens Andrey Voronin and Shaktar Donetsks Andriy Vorobey who make up a devastating three-pronged attack.

The team do not just rely on Shevchenkos goals. Like fellow...

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