The UEFA Euro 2020 is back in action with another round of matches as Ukraine lock horns with Austria at the National Arena on Monday. Both teams have been impressive this month and will battle it out to secure a place in the knock-outs at Euro 2020.
Austria made a strong start to their Euro 2020 campaign with a victory against North Macedonia but slumped to a 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands earlier this week. The Austrians have a robust side and have a point to prove in this match.
Ukraine, on the other hand, are in the same position as Austria and will have to play for direct qualification in this fixture. Shevchenko’s side has been impressive in patches and will need to be more consistent to threaten the competition’s bigwigs.
Ukraine vs Austria: Kick-off time
|Photo: 22Bet Predictions
Ukraine v Austria will take place on Monday 21st June 2021. The match will kick off at 5pm.
After falling to Denzel Dumfries’s late winner in a pulsating 3-2 defeat to Netherlands in their opening match, Ukraine bounced back with a 2-1 win against North Macedonia on Thursday.
Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk, who both scored in the defeat to Frank de Boer’s side, got themselves on the scoresheet once again during a comfortable first half, but Ezgjan Alioski’s strike before the hour mark set up a nervy finish to the game.
However, Andriy Shevchenko’s side managed to hold on to ensure that destiny remains in their own hands ahead of their last group game against Austria on Monday.
Due to having scored one more goal than the Austrians, a draw would guarantee Ukraine’s progression to the last 16 in second place, so it remains to be seen whether Shevchenko sets up his side in a more cautious manner than we have seen so far.
For Austria, then, playing for a draw would be a more risky strategy, as it would mean that they would be hoping to be one of the four best third-placed teams in order to advance in the competition.
However, it is tough to envisage any side with four points and a neutral goal difference not going through given that one or two third-placed teams from other groups are likely to only have three points (or perhaps four points with a negative goal difference).
Should Ukraine and Austria essentially play for a draw as many people are predicting, it would not be the first time the Austrian national team have been embroiled in a similarly controversial scenario.
Oleksandr Zubkov picked up an injury against the Netherlands and might not play a part in this match. Ruslan Malinovskiy and Oleksandr Zinchenko have plenty of experience on the big stage and will have to play crucial roles against North Macedonia.
Doubtful: Oleksandr Zubkov
Marko Arnautovic has been banned from UEFA Euro 2020 for his verbal assault on Ezgjan Alioski and is unavailable for selection. David Alaba is set to play in a more advanced position in this match after his subdued performance against the Netherlands.
Unavailable: Marko Arnautovic
These two countries have only met twice before and as things stand, the head-to-head record is level at one win apiece. It’s been almost a decade since these two nations last clashed for a friendly back in 2012 but when they have met, the games have always been close and competitive. Ukraine have only lost one of their last six international matches and Austria have avoided defeat in three of their last six fixtures. We’re backing a draw between these two evenly matched sides but still expect there to be goals in the game.
We’re expecting both teams to push for the win in this game and that means there will be chances at both ends of the pitch. Both teams have scored in the two previous meetings between Ukraine and Austria, while four of Ukraine’s last six international matches have also ended with both teams scoring. Austria welcome back Arnautovic from suspension and the former Stoke City striker is likely to go straight into the starting eleven for this game.
Over 2.5 Goals
The two previous encounters between these two countries have both produced over 2.5 goals and we’re expecting plenty of goalmouth action on Monday. Ukraine’s last three games have all seen over 2.5 goals scored, while three of Austria’s last six outings have also witnessed at least three goals. Although we are backing a draw, we believe this game will be high-scoring and could well finish 2-2 or 3-3 depending on how each side takes their chances.