Ireland vs Ukraine. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more￼
Ukraine is going through a very difficult time and football is one of the few things that allows its citizens to take their minds off of what is going on, to get positive emotions. The players are doing their best to show good football and the whole world is supporting them.
Unfortunately, despite their great will to win, Ukraine recently lost a World Cup slot to Wales in the Qualifiers final. It may indeed have been the most important match in the national team’s history, but that is a thing of the past now. The Ukrainians fought hard till the end, but failed to get the cherished ticket. But, no matter how frustrating it was, the guys of Oleksandr Pertrakov have to work on their mistakes and let go of that result – after all, now it is just a history, albeit without a happy ending.
On 8 June, in Dublin, the Ukraine national side will start a new chapter. The Blue-and-Yellows have the UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifiers on the horizon, along with their Nations League campaign, which kicks off on Wednesday.
Petrakov’s team begin their journey in Division B with a game against Ireland. The opponent is not easy, but the main task, i.e. a return to the elite in League A, can now be perceived as the main one. And so they need to win, and the more confident the better.
Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
Ireland News & Current Form:
The Irish national team showed practically nothing in last year’s Nations League. In general, the results in this tournament look bleak. The Tricolours have never left Division B and, interestingly, they have not won a single game in their last ten. There have only been draws and defeats. The Greens will probably want to break their curse in this campaign, but for now they are closer to relegation to Division C than to the elite of European football.
In the 1st round match, they lost to one of the outsiders, Armenia (0-1). Ireland coach Stephen Kenny used a five-back formation. This allowed his side to possess the ball, but the other side of the coin – they attacked less sharply. The Irish only had two shots on target in 90 minutes.
Talking about other tournaments, Ireland’s record is also poor. First, they failed to qualify for Euro 2020. Only three wins in their eight qualifying matches. They also drew four times and suffered one defeat. In the semi-final qualifying match against they lost to Slovakia (0-0, 2-4 on penalties).
Then, the Irish failed to secure a place in the forthcoming Mundial. In their eight qualifying matches, the Irish have only picked up two wins, against Azerbaijan (3-0) and Luxembourg (3-0). The draws came against Azerbaijan (1-1), Serbs (1-1) and Portuguese (0-0). Their defeats were at the hands of Serbia (2-3), Luxembourg (0-1) and Portugal (1-2).
On the basis of the above, we can rightly classify the Irish team as the underdogs of the tournament. The very rare victories, draws and defeats in matches against equally strong opponents speak volumes. The national side’s main problem is poor effectiveness upfront, but there are also questions about their defensive performance. A defeat against Armenia, while playing five defenders, is just unacceptable.
Sadly for their fans, the days when the Green Army regularly reached the Mundials are a thing of the past. The “golden” generation of Roy and Robbie Keane have gone into well-deserved retirement. But there is no one to replace these stars.
In essence, the Irish team is a “light” copy of Scotland. Kenny’s side practice a simple and centuries-old British style of play. They like to run a lot, use crosses. The backbone of the team is made up of players from the English leagues. The vast majority are from non-elite divisions.
The Irish manager is unlikely to make any serious changes to the squad. We predict the usual three centre-backs, experienced full-backs, one of whom is Vitaliy Mykolenko‘s team-mate at Everton – Seamus Coleman. Callum Robinson will play upfront.
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Ukraine News & Current Form:
The Ukraine national team travel to Ireland in as sombre a mood as possible. Alas, the dream of qualifying for the World Cup remains a dream.
Despite this, on the whole, the Ukrainian team looks much more promising when compared to the upcoming opponent.
Back at UEFA EURO 2020, they made a hell of a noise, reaching the quarter-finals. Andriy Shevchenko, haging a scant coaching background, was the head coach at the time. Now the experience-hardened Olexandr Petrakov is at the wheel.
Under Petrakov, the Ukrainians have only managed to play five World Cup 2022 Qualifiers group stage games, claiming victories over Finland (2-1) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2-0). They also drew with Kazakhstan (2-2), France (1-1) and Bosnia (1-1). Thus, they got a chance to fight for a ticket to the Mundial in the qualifiers play-off.
The Blue-and-Yellows sealed a confident 3-1 win over Scotland in the semi-final. But in the final meeting, they bitterly lost to Wales (0-1). It should be noted that the Ukranians actually looked a lot better. They took 24 shots, nine of which came on target. They lacked realization and trivial luck, plus the referee did not give a penalty in the goal of the Dragons.
What may affect the game is that Petrakov is likely to make a number of changes to the starting line-up. The matches against Scotland and Wales were very exhausting for the main players, who put in 120% of their work.
“Tomorrow those who were not in the line-up earlier will play”said the coach.
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Ireland season form guide (all competitions): W-D-W-D-W-L
Ukraine season form guide (all competitions): D-D-W-W-W-L
Ireland vs Ukraine Head-To-Head Record:
The opponents have not yet crossed paths in official or friendly matches.
Ireland vs Ukraine Predicted XI:
Republic of Ireland possible starting lineup (3-4-3): Caoimhin Kelleher; Cyrus Christie, Shane Duffy, John Egan; Seamus Coleman, Josh Cullen, Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane; Chiedozie Ogbene, Callum Robinson, Troy Parrott.
Ukraine possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Heorhii Bushchan; Vitalii Mykolenko, Illia Zabarnyi, Mykola Matvienko, Oleksandr Karavaev; Taras Stepanenko, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Viktor Tsygankov, Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk.
Statistical preview of the match Ireland vs Ukraine:
- Ireland’s winless streak in the Nations League is 11 games.
- Ireland have failed to score in 6 сonsecutive fixtures of the Nations League.
- Ireland have only lost two of their last 17 home matches in all competitions.
- The Ukrainians have not played a single game in the current Nations League tie-up, although they have played two World Cup 2022 qualifying games. The Irish, on the other hand, have only played one game after a long break.
- Five of Ukraine’s last six away matches have seen a total of less than 3.5 goals.
- Ukraine have scored less than 2.5 goals in 14 of their last 15 away games.
- Ukraine have scored in 8 of their last 9 UEFA Nations League away games.
What has been said before the match:
“The Ukrainian players, coaches, and all the staff have been great ambassadors for their country amidst the chaos of their lives and the thousands who have lost their lives. By continuing to play, they are keeping it at the forefront of whatever country they’re playing, within the media. It keeps the discussion very much in the news.”
“The defeat became very draining for us [game against Wales]. I have individual conversations with the players, I try to smile, support them. Because I am a head coach, I cannot walk around with a gloomy head. What is going on inside of me is my business. I have to support the players, bring them out of this difficult psychological state. I have already said that life does not end there. It has already happened, the day has passed, this day can not come back. You turn the page and you live your life. You have to forget and move on. Tomorrow there is a game, everything can be fixed. This is sport.”
Ireland vs Ukraine Prediction:
The Ukrainians look preferable in this match, but they obviously have problems with goalscoring. Plus their opponents in round 1 of the Nations League used a five-back formation.
The probability that the home team’s head coach will use an identical strategy in the upcoming game is very high. Furthermore, an emphasis on defence looks logical: the Ukrainians have taken as many as 24 shots at the Welsh goal, the Green Army coaching staff know about it and this will be reflected in the game plan. It is possible that the Irish will play for a draw at most, looking back on their previous performances.
In addition, after two emotional World Cup qualifying games, the Ukrainian team players are probably not in the best shape. We would not expect another super active game.
Parimatch News staff prediction: