Well, Ukraine's records against the teams in the Group is as follows:
We played Italy
back in 1996 for the EURO qualifiers, but lost 0:2 and 3:1. What you have to understand is Ukraine was only starting out as a footballing nation then, and any players we had - opted to play for Russia :depress: Now, ten years down the track, the situation has been reversed
Also we are scheduled to play against Italy in a friendly, (in Switzerland) but I guess that might change after the two have been drawn agianst each other.
, Ukraine have had some decent showings, best in the EURO 2000 qualifiers when Ukraine held them both in France and in Kyiv to 0:0 draws. In fact having watched both games, I can safely say Ukraine dominated for periods in the game and definately created some good chances.
The last time we played the Frech was as late as 2004, when a late Zidane strike gave the home side a much deserved win in Paris before the Froggies headed of for EURO 2004.
Ukraine have never played Scotland
before. However, fot hose interested in history; the Soviet Union did meet the Scots on three ocassions: a 2:2 draw in 1982 (World Cup), a 0:1 win to the USSR in a Glasgow friendly in 1991. Finally in 1992 Scotland gave one of the last Soviet XI sides to be ever fielded a belting of 3:0 in a game in 1992.
The games against Lithuania
will definately be difficult ones, and all teams have to be wary of these Baltic boys. Ukraine played Lithuania three times in 1996 having beaten them twice (5:2 and 0:2) and losing at home once 0:2. Also the two teams played a friendly in one of Ukraine's first international games in 1993 as Lithuania handed us a 0:1 defeat in Vilnius.
All Uke supporters have become used to playing Georgia
, and we've drawn them yet again! Having clashed a total of 6 times, the Georgians have never beaten Ukraine, having managed to tie us only twice. Everyone will remember our last outing in Tiblisi as that 1:1 draw was enough for us to go to Germany, but the tie did seem a little unjust having considered all the chances Ukraine managed to create. Ukraine has a 10:2 goals for/goals agianst ratio playing the Georgians. It will be interesting to see what the experience of Klaus Toppmöller can bring to the team which is bound to cause an upset or two during the campaign.
Finally we come to the Faroe Islands
, and this will be a first time for the Ukes! The Scandinavian minnows are struggling to make an imact on the international scene and only managed to claim 1 point from 10 games in their 2006 qualifying campaign. (2:2 in Cyprus). In EURO 2004 the Islanders also only managed to pick up 1 point, but did show some decent outings, holding Germany to only a 2:1 away defeat and the highlight was against Scotland as a John Petersen double gave them their only point from a 2:2 draw!
We all know about Ukraine's inability to finish of weak teams, but lets home Blokhin's motivation and self belief will lift us to that next level. Can't wait for the trip to Toftir!