What's on the line?
The fairy-tale scenes surrounding 35-year-old Andriy Shevchenko's heroic double have provided Euro 2012 with some of its most memorable emotional moments thus far. The unfancied co-host Ukraine stunned Sweden with its passionate, marauding commitment in its opening game. It will advance with a win.
Laurent Blanc's France is unbeaten in its past 22 games, the longest streak in international football, yet France has not won a game at a major tournament since 2006. The French will look to burst their opponent's bubble by building on their opening-round game against England, a 1-1 tie. France dominated the game without creating enough clear-cut chances. Victory would allow it to tie up the group if England fails to beat Sweden in the other Group D game.
Style and tactics:
The Ukrainians will be propelled by a rapturous, partisan crowd that will urge their wingers to dictate the pace of the game and prevent France's defenders from joining the attack. They will draw strength from French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who appeared uncertain under crosses in the English game. Expect him to be bombarded. Shevchenko has notched four of Ukraine's seven goals at major tournaments. All but one were headed.
France will hope to dominate possession, as it did against the English. Although the French manufactured 15 shots, few were clear-cut chances as Karim Benzema dropped deep to strengthen the midfield, blunting the French edge in front of goal. Laurent Blanc has suggested he will inject more muscle into the attack if needed.
Players to watch:
Ukraine: Andriy Shevchenko, Andriy Yarmolenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka
Striker Shevchenko reinforced his position as the world's most famous Ukrainian with his opening-game performance. Before this tournament, the 35-year-old professed, "For the last five years I've hardly thought about anything but the European Championship that will be held in my country. It's fair to say this has extended my career. It's my dream."
It is not clear how his body will hold up to the rigorous Euro schedule, but if he takes the field, expect the decibel level to approach airport runway levels.
Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka, the "Ukrainian Messi," will hope to feed Sheva from the flanks.
France: Samir Nasri, Franck Ribery, Mathieu Debuchy
In their opening game, attack-minded Nasri and Ribery combined for 105 touches in the attacking third, six more than England's 99 as a team. Right back Debuchy impressed with his barnstorming runs up the flank, becoming the latest young Frenchman to be linked to Newcastle United.
What we can expect?
The game will be a knife fight in the first half as the French seek to impose their will on the game in the center, while the Ukrainians counter with their passionate, collective football, driving down the wings.
The crowd is not the only factor that may challenge the French. The weather is expected to be a stifling 93 degrees. France should draw a modicum of strength from its head-to-head record. It has never lost (3-0-3) in six meetings with Ukraine and the Ukrainians failed to score in four of those games. When they last met in June 2011 -- a game which took place at the same venue, Donbass Arena -- Ukraine scored first then leaked four goals in 34 minutes.
Playing the hosts is always an intimidating prospect. If France can keep the game scoreless in the opening 20 minutes to dampen the crowd's hysteria, it should have the quality to edge Ukraine by one goal.
Roger Bennett is a contributing writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com.