Co-hosts Ukraine will end the long wait to kick off their UEFA EURO 2012 campaign when they face Sweden in their opening Group D game, with past friendly encounters suggesting there is little to choose between the sides.
• This is the countries' first competitive encounter, their three previous friendly meetings having yielded one win each and a draw over 90 minutes.
• They first met in Sweden on 1 June 2008, when Serhiy Nazarenko struck with a long-distance shot to give the visitors a 1-0 victory.
• The teams played again in the final of a friendly tournament in Cyprus on 9 February 2011; they drew 1-1 over 90 minutes, with Ukraine then prevailing 5-4 on penalties. Marko Dević replied from the spot with his first goal for his country after Johan Elmander gave Sweden an early lead.
• Sweden got their first victory at the third attempt, Tobias Hysén striking two minutes into added time for a 1-0 victory in a friendly in Kharkiv on 10 August 2011.
• The nations' only previous competitive encounter at any level came in the 2005/06 UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round, where they drew 1-1 in Portugal.
Selected previous meeting
10 August 2011: Ukraine 0-1 Sweden (Hysén 90+2) – Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, friendly
Ukraine: Dykan, Dević, Mandziuk, Kalynychenko (Konoplyanka 55), Rotan (Edmar 73), Cheberyachko, Voronin (Milevskiy 45), Shevchenko (Antonov 58), Tymoshchuk, Gai, Fedetskiy.
Sweden: Isaksson, Wendt, Gerndt (Olsson 82), Granqvist, Elmander (Hysén 67), Källström (Wernbloom 46), Svensson, Larsson (Ekdal 59), Bajrami (Wilhelmsson 26), Majstorovic, Lustig (Safari 62).
• This was the sides' most recent fixture, under current coaches Oleh Blokhin and Erik Hamrén respectively.
• Sweden go into the finals on a three-game winning streak in competitive fixtures, notably beating the Netherlands 3-2 in their final Group E game as the Oranje dropped their first points in qualifying.
• The Swedes last appeared at a major final tournament at UEFA EURO 2008, where they exited at the group stage. Defeats by Russia and eventual winners Spain negated their opening 2-0 victory against Greece.
• Ukraine have not played a competitive fixture since losing 1-0 to Greece (both on the night and on aggregate) in a play-off for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals at the Donbass Arena, Donetsk on 18 November 2009.
• Ukraine's only previous experience of a major tournament came at the 2006 World Cup; they made it through the group stage, recovering from a 4-0 opening loss to Spain by beating Saudi Arabia 4-0 and Tunisia 1-0. They then beat Switzerland 3-0 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the round of 16, but lost 3-0 to Italy in the quarter-finals.
• Thus Ukraine have yet to score a goal from open play – or win inside 120 minutes – against European opposition at a major final tournament.
• Club sides from the two nations have met six times in UEFA competition with the Ukrainians having the slight edge, with the record W2 D3 L1. Most recently, FC Metalist Kharkiv met Malmö FF in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, winning 4-1 in Sweden and 3-1 at home.
• Dević and Edmar, both Ukrainian internationals although the latter is not in the UEFA EURO 2012 squad, scored in that 4-1 Metalist win in Sweden. Dević, as mentioned earlier, struck his first Ukraine goal against Sweden in February 2011.
• Zlatan Ibrahimović played in Kyiv in 2009/10, taking part in FC Barcelona's 2-1 UEFA Champions League group stage win against FC Dynamo Kyiv at the Valeriy Lobanovskiy Stadium.
• Ukraine coach Blokhin scored against Sweden as a Soviet Union player in a 1-1 friendly draw in Solna on 3 June 1982.
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