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Andriy Shevchenko expecting tough North Macedonia test

Andriy Shevchenko expecting tough North Macedonia test
© Reuters
Ukraine lost their opening Group C match 3-2 against Holland in Amsterdam on Sunday.

Ukraine head coach Andriy Shevchenko warned his side will have to be on top form to beat Euro 2020 minnows North Macedonia on Thursday.

It is a must-win game for Shevchenko's side in Bucharest after they lost their opening Group C match 3-2 against Holland in Amsterdam on Sunday after fighting back from 2-0 down.

Former AC Milan and Chelsea striker Shevchenko told a press conference: "First of all, we need to play our best game.

"We have our worked-out playing pattern and much will depend on our midfield – how they will move and how they will move the ball, the speed and precision of their passes.

"We are a team that loves to attack. Being clinical will be the key tomorrow."

North Macedonia, competing in their first major tournament, lost their opening game 3-1 against Austria, but Shevchenko is expecting a big reaction.

"This is a team that deserves respect," he said. "They have character, they have outstanding leaders and a well-established playing system.

"They almost always play 5-3-2 and like to counter-attack. They are good fighters as well. So we don't expect any gifts from them tomorrow."

Ukraine midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko also envisages a tough encounter following advice from Manchester City team-mate Ilkay Gundogan.

He said: "I spoke to my Manchester City team-mate Gundogan about North Macedonia because they beat Germany 2-1 away a couple of months ago. He said, 'Trust me, this team are trying to play good football.'

"(North Macedonia) are a great team. On the pitch, they are like family.

"They definitely don't have the same kind of players as Holland, but they are very strong as a team. They are very well organised defensively and it's very difficult to score against them."

North Macedonia coach Igor Angelovski told a press conference his side would play without fear in their bid to progress from the group.

He said: "We came to the Euros to reach the round of 16. Whoever wins this match will improve their chances to advance. We are not feeling any pressure, we are motivated, and we will play to win."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States20231659
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Trophee des Champions
Taca da Liga
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX

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