Manchester City and Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenko set to start in FA Cup on Tuesday


Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko set to start in FA Cup on Tuesday – with manager Pep Guardiola insisting it ‘will be good’ for Ukrainian to play after emotional response to Russia’s invasion

  • Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko was visibly moved on Saturday by the displays of solidarity shown with his homeland at Goodison Park 
  • Zinchenko also attended an anti-war vigil in Manchester last Thursday 
  • The 25-year-old has been vocal in his support for his homeland and he launched a scathing attack on Russian president Vladimir Putin last week 
  • Now, the left back is set to start Manchester City’s FA Cup tie at Peterborough 











Oleksandr Zinchenko is set to start Manchester City’s FA Cup tie at Peterborough United on Tuesday night.

Pep Guardiola praised the mental strength shown by the 25-year-old since Russia’s full-scale invasion on his homeland, Ukraine, last week.

A teary Zinchenko remained an unused substitute during City’s victory at Everton on Saturday but he will play a part against the Championship strugglers in the fifth round.

‘It will be good for him to show why he is here and a magnificent player needs to play football,’ Guardiola said.

‘Human beings have the ability to adapt and overcome difficult situations. Of course he cannot be happy but in training with his mates, talking in the locker room… football is so addictive, the ball is so attractive.

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‘He can forget for a short time. Then when he comes back home to his wife and daughter I can imagine it must be tough.’ 

Zinchenko and compatriot Vitaliy Mykolenko shared an emotional moment prior to Saturday’s clash between Man City and Everton as the pair hugged despite being on opposing teams. 

Zinchenko also attended an anti-war vigil in Manchester last Thursday following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is set to start in Man City’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Peterborough

Man City's players had 'No War' messages on their tracksuit tops prior to kick-off on Saturday

Man City’s players had ‘No War’ messages on their tracksuit tops prior to kick-off on Saturday 

The 25-year-old, who has 48 international caps for Ukraine, has been vocal in his support for his homeland, declaring last week that he ‘can’t stay back’ while his country is attacked.

He also insisted that one of his posts was deleted from Instagram after he launched a scathing attack on Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The message read: ‘I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature.’ 

On Saturday, with Everton and City warming up prior to kick-off,  Zinchenko and Mykolenko headed over to one another to embrace and appeared to share a few words of comfort.

Both players were named among the substitutes for their respective clubs, and they re-emerged from the tunnel a few minutes before kick-off to take their places on the bench.

Man City star Oleksandr Zinchenko has attacked Vladimir Putin on Instagram

The 25-year-old said: ‘I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature'

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Zinchenko also said he hopes Vladimir Putin suffers the ‘most painful suffering death’

Zinchenko was clearly appreciative of the support from both sets of supporters as he applauded the home fans on his way across the pitch.

As the two sides came out for the match, each of Everton’s players held a Ukrainian flag over their shoulders.

Meanwhile, City’s squad all wore shirts with the words ‘NO WAR’ across the front and back of them. 

The City left-back was unable to hold back the tears as the whole of Goodison Park rose in a show of solidarity with Ukraine. 

With Putin ordering a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last Thursday morning, Zinchenko was spotted in St Peter’s Square in Manchester City Centre just hours later as members of the public protested against the Russian president’s actions.

Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko hugged one another before kick-off on Saturday at Everton

Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko hugged one another before kick-off on Saturday at Everton

Everton's players had Ukrainian flags draped over their shoulders as they lined up for the game

Everton’s players had Ukrainian flags draped over their shoulders as they lined up for the game

Several Ukrainian flags were on show at the vigil, demonstrating solidarity between the UK and Ukraine.

Zinchenko’s wife Vlada Shcheglovam, who is a journalist, also posted a photo of a pro-Ukraine rally in London on Wednesday night. 

This is not the first time Zinchenko’s life has been affected by international conflict, after moving to Russia in his youth following the outbreak of the Donbas war. 

Zinchenko with wife Vlada Shcheglova, who is a journalist

Shcheglova posted a photo of a pro-Ukraine rally in London on Wednesday night

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Zinchenko’s wife Vlada Shcheglova (with the footballer, left) posted a photo of a pro-Ukraine rally in London on Wednesday night (right)

Guardiola previously admitted that Zinchenko is understandably ‘worried’ about the events in Ukraine, but he has praised the full-back’s mental strength and has confirmed that he will be available for selection on Saturday.

‘Oleks is an incredible, strong guy – really,’ Guardiola said. ‘Of course, the team and the club is close to him, unconditionally.

‘It’s not easy at the moment but in the training session yesterday he was brilliant, so he’s ready to play in case he has to play.’  

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