Ukraine striker Andrei Shevchenko major fitness concern ahead of England match


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Andrei Voronin admits Ukraine's Euro 2012 clash with England tomorrow night will be the biggest match in their history as fellow striker Andrei Shevchenko faces a battle to be fit.

Shevchenko, who scored Ukraine's two goals in the 2-1 win over Sweden, was absent from last night's open training session in the Metalurg Stadium with a left knee problem.

The former Chelsea player is approaching the end of his career but his absence against Roy Hodgson's side would still be a massive blow to Ukraine who need to win to reach the quarter-finals.

Former Liverpool player Voronin said: "I don't know how badly Shevchenko is injured. He has two days to recover and we hope he can play.

"He is very important in every game for Ukraine. That is what he means to us.

"We don't know if he will play or not but everyone hopes he will play."

Ukraine media manager Oleksandr Hlyvynskyy confirmed: "Shevchenko got two kicks on the knee, the first one against Sweden in the second half and the second one was against France.

"There is water (fluid) on the left knee. Is he doubtful? He is doubtful, yes, but the doctors are giving him some treatment.

"He couldn't train on Sunday. I don't know if he will train tomorrow. We will see what happens."

Ukraine team doctor Leonid Myronov painted a more optimistic picture and said: "Shevchenko is doing some work with the medical people now and the situation is not so terrible."

Voronin pulls no punches about the significance of the clash which Ukraine need to win while England only need a point to qualify for the last eight.

He said: "For us it is the last chance. We need to win. We want to go to the quarter-finals, we need to win, and we will try to do everything.

"I think it is the biggest game in the country's history. For us it is a very important game, not just for the whole team but for the whole country.

"We want to go further than Poland. When we beat Sweden, there was a great atmosphere in the stadium and we won and the whole country was very happy.

"We want to do the same against England."

Voronin knows the importance of the available again Wayne Rooney to England.

He said: "England are very good, a very strong team, but the Swedish game was a very difficult game for both teams.

"We know Rooney will be playing against us and he is a very important player for England."