Shevchenko: I'm ready for Ukraine duty
© AFP

Ukraine's veteran striker Andrei Shevchenko said on Thursday he was ready to do battle for the UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts as they prepare for Monday's pool opener against Sweden with France and England to come.

The Dynamo Kiev veteran is hoping to play a role despite only featuring in some 20 matches at club level this season owing to injuries, most notably back trouble.

But the 35-year-old insisted that he was up for the challenge. "The question is not whether I wish to start the match but whether I am fit. And I am," the former Milan and Chelsea striker said after training.

He added that the team would look to compete on a par with their rivals despite recent friendly reverses to Austria and Turkey. "You will see a different Ukraine against Sweden," he forecast as the team seek to get off to a flier in Group D.