Paul Merson is backing England to book their place in the Euro 2020 semi-finals by beating Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.
For the first time in 55 years, the Three Lions got the better of Germany in a knockout match at a major international tournament, courtesy of goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane at Wembley.
Ukraine, meanwhile, needed a last-gasp winner in extra time from Artem Dovbyk to get past Sweden in their last-16 clash.
The winner of that matchup at the Stadio Olimpico will play either Denmark or Czech Republic in the semis, while on the other side of the draw, Italy take on Belgium and Spain go up against Switzerland.
And former Arsenal and England midfielder thinks, Spain, Italy, Denmark and the Three Lions will be the teams to progress from the quarter-finals.
‘I think England should win this Euro 2020 quarterfinal quite comfortably, to be honest,’ Merson told Sportskeeda of Gareth Southgate’s side’s chances against Ukraine. ‘The problem with Ukraine is that they’re quite unpredictable at times.
‘There were times against Sweden when you’d watch Ukraine and think, “I hope we face these guys.” But they can come at you all of a sudden – Ukraine can pull off lethal counters and nearly scored against Sweden against the run of play.
‘If Ukraine sit back and defend against England for 90 minutes, I can’t see them succeeding. If they decide to play an open game and attack, they can really hurt us.
‘England need to focus on their own game, however, and need to concentrate on the task on hand. It isn’t just false hope this time at Euro 2020 – we have a genuine shot at the trophy and our superior squad should be able to make it past Ukraine, Denmark, and Czech Republic.
‘Gareth Southgate has done a great job at Euro 2020 so far and hasn’t got enough credit for his decisions against Germany. Everybody’s forgotten who he started because we won the game, but there would have been an inquisition had we failed against Germany.
‘That being said, the game changed when Jack Grealish came on and England can count themselves lucky to have players of exceptional quality on the bench. Ukraine were undefeated in their Euro 2020 qualifying group so we can’t afford to underestimate them.
‘England need to avoid end-to-end situations and need to keep playing their way – the way that’s earned them four clean sheets so far at Euro 2020.
‘England worked with lower expectations last week because a match against Germany could go either way, but a loss to Ukraine would come as a major shock.’
‘You can’t not pick Raheem Sterling as your main man at Euro 2020,’ he added. ‘He’s scored almost all of our goals, he never hides and always seems to find good positions in the box. Sterling can miss a hat-trick of chances on a given day but will still get himself into that box and score.
Merson’s Euro 2020 QF predictions
Spain 2-0 Switzerland
Belgium 1-2 Italy
Czech Republic 1-2 Denmark
Ukraine 0-2 England
MORE : What time is England V Ukraine on Saturday? Date and how to watch it on TV and online
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