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