France v Ukraine live stream, Sky Sports, Wednesday 24th March, 7:45pm GMT
Holders France get their World Cup 2022 qualification campaign under way when they face Ukraine in Paris on Wednesday.
Les Bleus won football’s ultimate prize for the second time in Russia, beating Croatia 4-2 in the highest-scoring final since 1966. Now, the long road to retaining their crown next winter begins.
Wednesday’s encounter could be a daunting one for Ukraine, who found themselves on the end of a 7-1 hiding in a friendly at the Stade de France in October. They’ve appeared at one World Cup since gaining independence in 1991, reaching the quarter-finals in 2006.
Didier Deschamps – who captained France to World Cup glory on home soil in 1998 and Euros success two years later, before taking over as manager in 2012 – has picked a 26-man squad for this game and the proceeding Group D trips to Kazakhstan and Bosnia and Herzergovina. Captain Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann all feature among the star-studded selection, but Kylian Mbappe is a doubt after hobbling off in PSG’s Ligue 1 win over Lyon at the weekend.
Ukraine, who have been managed by national legend Andriy Shevchenko since 2016, have called up 33 players, among them Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchecko and West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko – although the latter has only recently returned to training after more than a month on the sidelines with a knee injury and may not be involved. After their trip to the French capital, Ukraine host Kazakhstan and Finland.
This clash will be one of the last competitive outings for both countries ahead of this summer’s Euro 2020 finals, where France have been drawn into a group with Hungary, Portugal and Germany, while Ukraine will pit their wits against the Netherlands, Austria and North Macedonia.
Kick-off is at 7:45pm GMT and the game is being shown on Sky Sports Premier League in the UK.
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