Ukraine team fit after mystery illness
KIEV, Ukraine ● Ukraine’s players have recovered from a mysterious stomach bug and hope to surprise Sweden when the pair meet in their Euro 2012 opener on Monday, coach Oleh Blokhin said.
“Twenty-three players are ready for the game against Sweden,” Blokhin told reporters.
The illness swept through the squad this week and almost led to the cancellation of Tuesday’s friendly against Turkey, which Ukraine lost 2-0.
Blokhin, who previously said he suspected “sabotage”, refused to discuss the issue on Thursday.
“More than two days have passed, the lads feel fine,” he said. “The topic is closed.”
Blokhin said the co-hosts, which performed poorly in the Turkey friendly, would vastly improve in their first Group D game.
“You will see a different team, I am sure,” he said.
Blokhin opted not to reveal any details about his starting line-up.
“I used to be an unpredictable player and I am an equally unpredictable coach,” he said.
Ukraine, who have lost three top goalkeepers to injuries and a drugs ban, face France and England after kicking off their campaign against the Swedes at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.