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World-beaters Germany start against Ukraine

World champions Germany return to the final tournament fray in UEFA EURO 2016 Group C, with Ukraine eager to secure their first win against their opponents.

Background: Germany v Ukraine ©Yevhen Kraws

Positive omens abound for Germany as they look ahead to their opening UEFA EURO 2016 Group C game against Ukraine.

Previous meetings
• Germany have yet to lose in five games against Ukraine (W2 L3), including four competitive encounters (W2 D2).

• Germany maintained their record of never having failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup when they overcame Ukraine 5-2 on aggregate in a play-off for the 2002 tournament. The second leg in Dortmund, a 4-1 home win, was Ukraine's last match under Valeriy Lobanovskiy.

• The teams first met in qualifying for the 1998 World Cup. Oliver Bierhoff and Mario Basler scored Germany's goals in a 2-0 home victory before a 0-0 draw in Kyiv.

• The first friendly between the countries took place on 11 November 2011 and produced a thrilling 3-3 draw in the inaugural international staged at the refurbished UEFA EURO 2012 final venue in Kyiv. Germany came from 3-1 down to level with a 77th-minute strike from Thomas Müller. First-half goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka had put the hosts 2-0 up.

Germany's best qualifying goals

EURO facts – Germany
• Germany are competing in their 12th successive EURO since missing out on the final tournament as West Germany, their first attempt, in 1968.

• EURO winners in 1972, 1980 and 1996 – and three-time beaten finalists – Germany have failed to make it through the group stage on three occasions, in 1984, 2000 and 2004.

• The world champions' record in qualifying was W7 D1 L2.

• Lille have played four home games against German sides (W1 D1 L2), with the last two Bundesliga visitors both winning – Müller's penalty earned Bayern a 1-0 UEFA Champions League triumph in October 2012, while Wolfsburg were 3-0 victors at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in the UEFA Europa League in December 2014.

Ukraine's top goals in qualifying

EURO facts – Ukraine
• Ukraine are participating at their second EURO. They appeared as co-hosts of UEFA EURO 2012 but qualified this time round via a play-off success against Slovenia.

• Ukraine's biggest international success to date is making it to the quarter-finals of their only World Cup, in Germany in 2006.

• Ukraine's record in qualifying was W7 D2 L3 – including their play-off results against Slovenia.

• The only Ukrainian side to have played in Lille is Shakhtar Donetsk, who lost 3-2 to Lille in a 2005/06 UEFA Cup round of 32 first leg. Ukraine midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk played in that match.

Coach and player links
• Have played together:
Jérôme Boateng, Mario Gomez, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer and Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) & Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (Ukraine) – Bayern, 2009–13.

• Boateng, Mario Götze and Müller (2) scored in Bayern's 7-0 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg win against a Shakhtar side featuring Andriy Pyatov, Yaroslav Rakitsky, Vyacheslav Shevchuk and Taras Stepanenko. Defender Oleksandr Kucher was sent off three minutes into that game.

• Yarmolenko scored in Dynamo Kyiv's 3-1 victory against a Mönchengladbach team containing Marc-André ter Stegen in 2012/13 UEFA Champions League qualifying. Ukraine's Denys Garmash also played for Dynamo in that play-off first leg.

• Sami Khedira's Juventus defeated a Sevilla FC XI featuring Ukraine's Konoplyanka 2-0 in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Germany's Bernd Leno met Shakhtar in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage (4-0h, 0-0a), the Leverkusen man coming up against Ukraine's Pyatov, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk and Kucher.

• Mats Hummels and Götze scored against Shakhtar in a 2012/13 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie won 5-2 on aggregate by Borussia Dortmund, with Pyatov, Rakitskiy, Stepanenko and Kucher on the losing side.