Austria’s Euro 2020 group game against Ukraine on Monday will feel like a final as they bid to reach the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time in 39 years, captain David Alaba said.

Austria, who have not gone beyond the group stage since the 1982 World Cup, are third in Group C on three points, behind second-placed Ukraine on goal difference.

A draw in their final group game would be enough for Ukraine to finish second behind the Netherlands, who have already qualified, but Austria will advance if they win at Bucharest.

“We are aware that it has a feeling of a final, we want to win this match and write history, this is obvious,” Alaba said.

“It won’t be easy but we can see that we have great team spirit. There are so many players who play at such a top level and have already gained experience.

“We know how strong Ukraine are, but we also know their weaknesses and we want to benefit from this.”

Austria’s main striker Marko Arnautovic will start against Ukraine in their final Group C game on Monday, coach Franco Foda said as his team look for the win that would secure their first knockout spot in a European Championship.

Arnautovic missed their 2-0 loss to Netherlands earlier this week after being banned for a game following his verbal attack on an opponent in their 3-1 opening win over North Macedonia.

“We decided that Marko will play from the start and to announce it today,” Foda told a news conference on Sunday (June 20).

“That means our opponents know that now and can prepare for it but we are happy that he can play again. But we are not dependent only on Marko. He has his ability and quality, but many players have to take on responsibility tomorrow.”

Both Austria and Ukraine are on three points, the Netherlands are already through with two wins, while North Macedonia have yet to open their account after losing both of their games. The top two in each of the six groups proceed to the round of 16 along with the four best third-placed finishers.

Ukraine will not be lulled into complacency by the fact a draw in their final Group C game against Austria guarantees progress to the Euro 2020 knockouts, coach Andriy Shevchenko said on Sunday.

Ukraine are second, behind Netherlands who are already through as group winners, and Shevchenko’s side will advance to the last 16 with a win or draw on Monday.

“Theoretically we can be happy with a draw but we know how difficult this game is,” Shevchenko told a news conference.

“They have great players, a great leader in David Alaba, several players who deserve respect. They play very aggressively and we expect a tough game.”

Center back Denys Popov, who was on the bench for Ukraine‘s defeat by Netherlands in their opening game but left out of the side for their 2-1 win over North Macedonia, will probably miss the Austria game with a calf injury.

Ukraine will not be lulled into complacency by the fact a draw in their final Group C game against Austria guarantees progress to the Euro 2020 knockouts, coach Andriy Shevchenko said on Sunday.

Ukraine are second, behind Netherlands who are already through as group winners, and Shevchenko’s side will advance to the last 16 with a win or draw on Monday.

“Theoretically, we can be happy with a draw but we know how difficult this game is,” Shevchenko told a news conference.

“If you go into the game thinking that a draw is okay then you will never get a certain result. This kind of thinking can be punished a lot. All this talk that the teams can agree to have a draw together should be stopped immediately. It just isn’t right.

“My team understands how important this game is and Austria is the same … I really respect Austria. They have a certain style and they stick to it.

“They have great players, a great leader in David Alaba, several players who deserve respect. They play very aggressively and we expect a tough game.”

Ukraine and Austria both have three points, with Netherlands on six, while North Macedonia have none after losing both their games. The top two in each of the six groups advance to the round of 16 along with the four best third-placed finishers.

Centre back Denys Popov, who was on the bench for Ukraine‘s defeat by Netherlands in their opening game but left out of the side for their 2-1 win over North Macedonia, will probably miss the Austria game with a calf injury.

“Popov has issues with his calf muscle and hasn’t trained today,” Shevchenko said. “I don’t think there is a serious problem but he needs some time to recover.”