Euro 2012: Laurent Blanc wary of Andriy Shevchenko threat

Laurent Blanc and Andriy Shevchenko
Laurent Blanc and Andriy Shevchenko

France boss Laurent Blanc is determined to keep Ukraine's Andriy Shevchenko quiet on Friday - and he has first-hand knowledge of how to stop the striker.

Blanc played against Shevchenko, who scored twice against Sweden on Monday, for France and Inter Milan.

"I know Shevchenko well, I played against him and he was difficult to mark," said Blanc.

"I was not always happy at the end of the games. He is in great form, but he needs a bit of space to show it."

Shevchenko is hoping to lead the Euro 2012 co-hosts to another victory, knowing three points would put his country through to the quarter-finals.

However, France have never been beaten by Ukraine in six previous meetings and won 4-1 in Donetsk last year.

"I heard the Ukraine coach (Oleg Blokhin) said he did not fear France," said Blanc. "He can rest assured, we do not fear Ukraine either, even if we respect them.

"We came here a year ago, we beat Ukraine but the context is different.

"This game is not a reference but we will tell the players we can beat this team because we've done it already."

Despite seeing his side open their campaign with victory over Sweden, Ukraine boss Blokhin is demanding more from his team in their second match of the tournament.

"There is no reason for euphoria," he said. "We just won a match and as coach I am never happy. The lads were a little surprised I was not happy after our debriefing session.

"They were a little euphoric - but there is no reason not to keep our feet on the ground.

"We saw the last ten minutes it could all have gone wrong.

"I don't think it was the greatest game in Ukraine's history - there were many errors. Some can be ironed out but for others there is not enough time."

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