Laurent Blanc
France coach Laurent Blanc will be hoping that his team pull themselves together before their vital clash against Spain Reuters

Having produced a dramatic victory against Sweden in their opening match, co-hosts Ukraine return to action against France in Donetsk. A match that can be viewed live on ESPN3.

Ukraine currently sit top of the group and will be looking to get something out of the contest with one of the tournament favorites in order to remain in strong contention for a place in the quarter-finals. Ukraine has never beaten France and will need a drastically improved performance than when the two sides last met in 2011, as they fell to a 4-1 defeat.

France, meanwhile, began the tournament with a 1-1 draw with England. Despite being on top for much of the encounter, Les Bleus failed to create enough scoring opportunities for coach Laurent Blanc's liking. The time has come for France to display the form that has seen them go 22 games unbeaten as they have recovered admirably from their disastrous appearance at the 2010 World Cup.

France has made two changes to the side that Blanc deployed against England. Experienced left-back Patrice Evra has been left out to be replaced by Gael Clichy. Further forward Jeremy Menez comes in for Chelsea's Florent Malouda. There is still no place for Arsenal-target Yann M'Vila as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury.

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin has named an unchanged lineup, with veteran Andriy Shevchenko again leading the attack after his two goals against Sweden.


G: Pyatov

D: Gusev, Mikhalik, Khacheridi, Selin

M: Tymoshchuk

Yarmolenko, Nazarenko, Konoplyanka

F: Voronin



G: Lloris

D: Debuchy, Rami, Mexes, Clichy

M: Cabaye, Diarra

Menez, Nasri, Ribery

F: Benzema

Prediction: It has to be expected that there will be some hangover from Ukraine's emotionally-exhausting victory over Sweden. For Shevchenko, at 35, there is also likely to be some physical effects as he plays his second game in five days.

France should be able to take advantage of a suspect Ukraine back line, especially with the extra attacking threat of Menez and Samir Nasri getting the chance to operate in his favored No. 10 role.

France 2-1 Ukraine