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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 09:24, June 26, 2006
Solid Swiss hope to roll over Ukraine
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A team that takes pride in its lack of big name players will come up against a side seeking to end their reputation as a one-man-band when Switzerland take on Ukraine in the World Cup second round today.

Appearing in their first major finals, the Ukrainians have been at pains to stress that they have more to offer than 2004 European Player of the Year Andriy Shevchenko.

Recovering from a 4-0 drubbing by Spain in their first match, Oleg Blokhin's men secured second place in Group H when they followed up their own 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia with a tightly-contested 1-0 victory over Tunisia on Friday.

The playing down of Shevchenko's importance was probably not helped by the fact that Chelsea's new striker won and successfully converted the penalty that saw his team through.

"It's a hugely important achievement for Ukrainian football that we have got into the next round," said Shevchenko. "We always kept our belief despite the terrible defeat against Spain."

'Belief' was also a popular word within the Swiss camp following their impressive 2-0 victory over 2002 semi-finalists South Korea on Friday.

Bidding to make their fourth appearance in the World Cup quarter-finals, but their first in over 50 years, the Swiss have emphasised their reliance on well-drilled teamwork over individual showmanship.

The only team to achieve three clean sheets from the three group games, the Swiss should offer Shevchenko as stiff a challenge as he does them - although both sides have new defensive problems to deal with going into the Cologne showdown.

Switzerland were dealt the biggest blow when it transpired on Saturday that central defender Philippe Senderos would miss the rest of the tournament after dislocating his shoulder during the win over the Koreans.

The 21-year-old Arsenal player will be out of action for a minimum of two weeks, leaving Switzerland dependent on Senderos's 19-year-old club mate Johan Djourou.

Probable teams:

Switzerland (4-5-1):1-Pascal Zuberbuehler; 3-Ludovic Magnin, 2-Johann Djourou, 20-Patrick Mueller, 23-Philipp Degen; 8-Raphael Wicky, 6-Johann Vogel, 7-Ricardo Cabanas, 22-Hakan Yakin, 16-Tranquillo Barnetta; 9-Alex Frei

Coach: Koebi Kuhn

Ukraine (3-5-2): 1-Oleksander Shovkovsky; 5-Volodymir Yezersky, 17-Vladislav Vashchyuk, 2-Andriy Nesmachny; 9-Oleg Gusev, 4-Anatoly Tymoshchyuk, 8-Oleg Shelayev, 19-Maxim Kalinichenko, 11-Serhiy Rebrov; 7-Andriy Shevchenko,10-Andriy Voronin

Coach: Oleg Blokhin

Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico)

Source: China Daily


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