Ruslan Malinovskyi: “All the pressure is on England”

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The two teams meet on Saturday night in Rome.

Ukraine midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi thinks the pressure will be total England in the saturday Euro 2020 quarter-final clash in Rome.

Ukraine, who have lost two of their group matches, managed a shock to reach the last eight with a last-minute overtime win over Sweden on Tuesday.

A talented England side in the Premier League will clearly be the favorites in the Italian capital on Saturday, but Malinovskii says that’s how Ukraine would prefer it.

The 28-year-old Atalanta said: “It’s good to be in this position, that England are favorites. It gives them more pressure, not us.

“We were a bit disappointed after the (group) game against Austria and we showed a good reaction against Sweden. Of course that gives us confidence for the game against England.

“We saw a lot of results that we didn’t expect from other teams – Switzerland and the Czech Republic (beating France and Holland respectively).

“It has shown in this tournament that anything is possible, every team can win. It makes football more beautiful, I think.

England are in high spirits following their win over Germany (Mike Egerton / PA)

“We have to come to this game against England in a good mood. We will have a good atmosphere and it will be a fantastic game for us.”

Neither side will have traveling supporters in the crowd of 16,000 due to restrictions related to the coroanvirus, but a number of tickets have gone on general sale and could be purchased by fans already based in Italy.

After being impressed with the support given to the squad in tournament games so far, Malinovskyi is hoping for another good participation in Rome.

“A lot of people live in Italy and I’m sure a lot of people will come and support us,” he said at a press conference. “We felt it in the other games in Bucharest and even when we played against Scotland they came to support us.

Ukraine hopes to harness crowd power in Rome
Ukraine hopes to capitalize on crowd strength in Rome (Andrew Milligan / PA)

“It gives us something to go faster, to be stronger. Mentally, the tournament has already had a long preparation but it gives us something to push more and be focused.”

Malinovskyi believes the team’s performances have brought comfort to the people at home and that in turn provides additional motivation.

“We are not only playing for ourselves, but we are playing for the whole country,” he said. “We don’t have such good things in our country with the war and, with the Covid, a lot of people have lost their jobs.

“With the results we have given, what we can give is – in small pieces – as peaceful for the Ukrainian people.”

Roman Yaremchuk (left) hopes to be there against England
Roman Yaremchuk (left) hopes to measure up against England (Andrew Milligan / PA)

Forward Roman Yaremchuk is convinced Ukraine can trouble England.

Yaremchuk said: “We only take confidence from the game against Sweden, good emotions. We only have good humor and we had a lot of time to recover.

“Now in the next round every game is like a final and of course we will have the chance to show something special against England.”

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