Blokhin: Shevchenko’s only 50/50 to play

UKRAINE manager Oleg Blokhin admits captain Andriy Shevchenko is rated just 50/50 to start against England tonight but will be given every chance to prove his fitness.

The decorated Shevchenko remains Ukraine’s key player and has scored their only two European Championship goals so far, though a knee injury suffered against France could make him a significant absence.

“It is hard to say whether Shevchenko will be fit but I would say his chances of being fit to face England are 50-50,” said Blokhin of the striker.

“There are still 24 hours to go before the game and we will do everything possible to get him fit. He is a big player for us and if he is unable to play it will be a

big loss.”

Blokhin prefers to partner Shevchenko with former Liverpool forward Andriy Voronin, who is in no doubt about the magnitude of this evening’s game and believes their chance to eliminate England and progress beyond the group stage, unlike fellow co-hosts Poland, makes it the most crucial in their history.

“For us it is the last chance,” he said. “We need to win. We want to go to the quarter-finals 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 for the whole country. We want to go further than Poland. When we beat Sweden the whole country was very happy. We want to do the same against England.”