As co-hosts with Poland, Ukraine will hope their home support will give them an extra boost in this summer’s European Championships.
Coach Oleg Blokhin, who took over last April after two appointments that proved less than successful, has insisted on several occasions he has no illusions about his team’s chances.
Recent form exposed a weak and unbalanced defence and an attack in which most of the goal-scoring has come from midfielders, such as Andriy Yarmolenko, Oleh Gusev and Yevhen Konoplyanka, rather than the strikers.
On top of those problems, goalkeeper Oleksandr Rybka, who had been a certainty for Euro selection, is out after being sanctioned by UEFA, having tested positive for a banned substance.
Ukraine have been drawn in Group D alongside England, France and Sweden.