• World Cup qualifying

Ukraine captain taunts England ahead of qualifier

ESPN staff
September 8, 2013
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk believes England's past failures may come back to haunt them © PA Photos

Ukraine captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk believes an out-of-sync England side will fail to get a result in their World Cup qualifier in Kiev.

Tymoshchuk, 34, says his nation remain confident of qualifying for Brazil in 2014, as they sit just one point behind Group H leaders England heading into Tuesday's crucial fixture.

Indeed, the Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder suggests the Three Lions' past failures may come back to haunt them.

"We do not have the big names that England have, but we have very good players," he is quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror.

"The truth is that the big English names - like Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard - have had lots of success and won many ­trophies for their clubs, but for whatever reason they cannot do it with their country.

"England might have names that all football fans know around Europe, but Ukraine are ­better.

"We are more balanced and when you see us play we look more of a team than England - more like we are in tune with each other.

"That is why there is real belief within the squad that we can ­qualify for Brazil."

Meanwhile, Tymoshchuk's team-mate Yevhen ­Konoplyanka believes England will once again struggle without the influential Wayne Rooney.

"We were unfortunate not to beat England in London, we should have won. We dominated for a lot of the game and it took a late penalty for them to draw with us in their own stadium.

"They didn't have Rooney that night and it is good news for us England won't have him again. England are a different team when he plays. When he isn't, you can see they are looking for ­inspiration from somebody else, but can't find it.

"Every nation has their ­stand-out player, but I can't think of any ­nation that are as reliant on one player as England are on Rooney," Konoplyanka told the Mirror.

In addition to Rooney, England will be without the suspended Danny Welbeck and the injured Daniel Sturridge.

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