England face Ukraine in their Euro 2020 quarter-final clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night.
The Three Lions saw off old foes Germany to reach the last eight and – with the semi-finals and final back at Wembley – will be aiming to keep progressing into the business end of the competition.
Here, we look at some of the key talking points ahead of the game in Rome.
Avoid being after the Lord Mayor’s show
The victory over Germany was one which sparked mass celebrations across the country as England beat their rivals in a knockout match for the first time since the 1966 World Cup final. It was also the first time they have won a knockout tie at the Euros in 25 years and will have served to increase both the hope and expectation of the public. One of Gareth Southgate’s main jobs ahead of the Ukraine test is to make sure such euphoria is followed up with another memorable display, rather than a damp squib.
Rome and away
So far, England have played all four of their Euro 2020 matches at Wembley. The home advantage certainly would have played some part in the performance against Germany but Southgate and his players will not be able to rely on such similar levels of support this time out. With fans unable to travel from England for the match, the Stadio Olimpico is expected to be quieter and less partisan than the games played at home and, with the added factor of the heat in the Italian capital, England will need to adjust to the new conditions well.
Andriy the giant
Andriy Shevchenko retired from international football in 2012 having scored an unrivalled 48 goals in 111 caps for Ukraine. The former striker is the most famous export from Ukrainian football, winning Serie A and the Champions League with AC Milan as well as an FA Cup and League Cup at Chelsea. The 2004 Ballon d’Or winner took charge of Ukraine in 2016 and led them out of the group stage at a Euros for the first time before their dramatic last-gasp extra-time win over Sweden set up a quarter-final clash with England.
Kane proves he is able
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring against Germany with his third goal of the tournament. But it was Harry Kane’s header to seal the win which could prove more important, given the England skipper had drawn a blank until that point. The 2018 World Cup golden boot winner will be hoping the cork is now out of the bottle and the goals can begin to flow freely in the latter stages.
A case four the defence
England are yet to concede at Euro 2020, with Jordan Pickford in fine form between the posts in the victory over Germany. Southgate opted for a three-man defence in the last-16 win but may be tempted to revert back to a back four as he did throughout the group stage. Whichever system is deployed, Ukraine will have to be at their best to breach what has proven to be an impenetrable backline so far this summer.