Italy vs Ukraine. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more
Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
Italy News & Current Form:
The reigning continental champion approached September’s Euro 2024 qualifiers in a shattered state. The place of the Azzurri head coach was vacant after Roberto Mancini resigned as Italy coach under the pretext of a conflict with the national association’s management, tempted by an offer from Saudi Arabia’s national team bosses.
Mancini’s successor was former SSC Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti, who decided to take a year’s time out after his team’s Scudetto triumph. But signor Luciano could not rest from football for long: he accepted the offer of the Italian Football Federation.
The first match at the new place for the freshly minted head coach of the Italian national team did not come out the best. Spalletti’s wards failed to beat North Macedonia away: a 1:1 draw. In the 47th minute Ciro Immobile put the Italians ahead, but at the end of the match the hosts leveled the scoreboard thanks to an accurate strike from Enis Bardhi.
As a result, where does that leave the Italians? Spalletti’s team are in third place with four points. This is three points less than second-placed Ukraine, while leading England are 11 points ahead of the Italians. But the reigning European champions have a game in hand.
Consequently, for Italy, as well as for Ukraine, the upcoming face-to-face confrontation turns into a key one. The victory of either of the rivals will allow at least to be optimistic about the future, having an advantage in the fight for second place.
Speaking of other World and European level competitions, Italy performed very well in the UEFA Nations League – winning the group with Germany, Hungary and England. In the semi-finals, Leonardo Bonucci and Co. lost to Spain (1:2), and in the game for third place they beat the Netherlands (3:2). Thanks to these results, Italians are among the national teams that will compete for three additional tickets to the Euros in the spring.
The Italian national team won the last European Championship, defeating England in the final on penalties. However, after that team failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and for the second time in a row was left without a world forum.
Before the upcoming match, both national teams suffered personnel losses. Italy will definitely not feature AS Roma defender Gianluca Mancini and Napoli right winger Matteo Politano, who have already left the national team due to injuries. However, Italy’s striking forward Ciro Immobile, who scored the only goal for the Macedonians, is still intact. In total, the forward scored two goals and made two assists in the European qualifiers.
Ukraine News & Current Form:
The Ukrainians got a rather difficult qualification group for EURO 2024. For solid national teams the way is often quite easy, it is enough to take the first or second place in the group with one serious opponent, but the team of Sergiy Rebrov is not lucky at all.
The rivals are the most powerful teams of England and Italy, and this September they will have to play with them in turn. The Ukrainians have already passed the English test. The team of Gareth Southgate is very cool at this stage – 4 wins in 4 matches, in the first game England dealt with Ukraine with a score 2:0, but in the last game they failed. The Yellow-Blues got a draw (1:1).
In Warsaw, where Ukraine plays their home games, the Three Lions took the initiative from the start. But the hosts did not falter either, launching meaningful counterattacks. One of them led to success.
Efim Konoplia found himself in the penalty area and shot from the right flank to the center, where Oleksandr Zinchenko sent the ball into the net. Nevertheless, the English equalized before the break. A great pass from Harry Kane put Kyle Walker one-on-one with Georgiy Bushchan, and the Manchester City defender leveled the score.
In the other games under Rebrov’s leadership Ukraine also did not lose: against Northern Macedonia (3:2) and Malta (1:0) the team took six points. His players know how to come together for important matches – you can’t take that away from them.
Ukraine also did not make it to the World Cup, but performed very well in the Nations League. Players fought for first place in the group with Scotland, Ireland and Armenia, but lost only two points to the Scots.
Andriy Yarmolenko (two goals+two assists), Roman Yaremchuk (one+three) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (one+two) stand out in attack. Although Yarmolenko was in the matchday squad for England, he did not take to the pitch – the national team leader has only recently recovered from injury, but he may appear in the match against the Italians.
The head coach of the national team could not count on several players of the national team in the match with the English. And for different reasons. New recruit of Genoa CFC Ruslan Malinovskyi was not called up to the national team for playing reasons, the player’s form does not suit the coach. Three FC Dynamo Kyiv players could not take part in the match because of injuries. Aleksandr Tymchyk and Mykola Shaparenko complain of thigh muscle injuries.
It should be noted that Ukraine has never beaten Italy in the history of confrontation between these teams. In eight face-to-face duels, twice there was a peace in the friendlies, and in the official six matches won only the Italians.
Italy form guide: L-W-D
Ukraine form guide: L-W-W-D
Italy vs Ukraine Head-To-Head Record:
- September 12, 2007: Ukraine 1 – 2 Italy (UEFA EURO);
- March 29, 2011: Ukraine 0 – 2 Italy (International Friendly);
- October 10, 2018: Italy 1 – 1 Ukraine (International Friendly);
Italy vs Ukraine Predicted XI:
Italy’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Scalvini, Bastoni, Dimarco; Barella, Cristante, Tonali; Zaniolo, Zaccagni, Immobile.
Ukraine’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Bushchan; Konoplya, Zabarnyi, Kryvstov, Mykolenko; Tsgankov, Stepanenko, Sudakov, Zinchenko, Mudryk; Yaremchuk.
Statistical preview of the match Italy vs Ukraine:
- Italy’s First XI average age is 26.3 years, while Ukraine’s First XI average age is 27.0 years.
- Team from Italy occupies 8th place in FIFA ranking, while Ukraine is only 24th.
- Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez from Spain has been appointed as the referee for the match. The official has completed only two matches so far this season, during which he has shown 15 yellow cards (an average of 7.5 yellow cards per game) and zero red cards. In addition, the referee has averaged 23 fouls per game.
- The opponents are not particularly inclined towards corner kicks. Italy serves an average of 4.6 corners per game, and Ukraine – 2.8 per match.
- In 4 of Italy’s last 7 matches, both teams have scored and hit a total of the goles scored over 2.5.
- The hosts collect an average of 2.6 yellow cards per game, while the visitors – 1.6.
- Italy have lost only 1 of their last four matches, winning twice.
- Ukraine have a 4-match unbeaten streak (2 wins + 2 draws);
- The Italian national team is a four-time world champion and a two-time European champion, and the current one at that.
- The best scorer in the history of the team is Luigi Riva, with 35 goals scored.
- Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has played the largest number of matches for the national team – 176.
- The Ukrainian national team was a quarter-finalist at the World Cup in 2006 and the European Championship in 2020.
- The best scorer in the history of the team is Andriy Shevchenko, who scored 48 goals.
- The largest number of games for the national team was played by Anatoliy Tymoshchuk – 144, but the federation excluded him from the country’s register of players, and his place was officially taken by Andriy Yarmolenko – 112 matches.
What has been said before the match:
On the eve of the Euro 2024 qualification match against Italy, head coach of the Ukrainian national team Sergiy Rebrov gave a press conference:
“Now there is no load, the guys are recovering. Even during the evening training we will familiarize ourselves more with the field and prepare for the game. These two days we are engaged only in recovery.”
“Yes, the Italians played a draw with Macedonia, I watched this game. It was a very difficult match, given the state of the pitch. I saw the intensity, I saw what the Italians were trying to win. I was surprised by the intensity. I am sure that tomorrow the intensity will be no less, we must be ready for it.”
“I know how Italy will play. The players realize that this is a very important match for Italy and for us. I always tell the players that they must respect the opponent, but focus on their own game. If we don’t show it tomorrow, it will be very difficult.”
“Italy is a top team, so we have not beaten them. It is very difficult to play against such opponents. With England we won a point, but it was very, very difficult. The same game awaits us tomorrow. We must believe in ourselves, realize that only with our game can we win points at San Siro.”
“I’ve seen a lot of Spalletti’s matches at the head of Napoli. Napoli. He won the championship. I have a lot of respect for this specialist. Any coach needs time. Even from the first game, I saw the changes – the intensity has increased, the players understand what they are doing on the pitch. It will be a very difficult game for us, but we must be ready for it.”
Before the Euro 2024 qualifying match between Italy and Ukraine, Azzurri head coach Luciano Spalletti said:
“We are in a situation that is easy to deal with: we must win all our remaining matches. We can’t play for a draw.”
“We have to enjoy the game. We have to find a solution to the equation where there is enjoyment and results. We have to work hard. We want to win by showing good football, which we failed to do in Skopje against North Macedonia.”
“Ukraine national team? They are a more organized team than the Macedonians. The Ukrainians have a clear idea of what the positions should be in possession of the ball.”
“I think they will try to build their actions on quick counterattacks. Just look at the goal they scored in England. We have to keep the ball to open a narrow door in their defense.”
“After the draw against North Macedonia, we have to study the match, learn from our mistakes and improve our game for the next game. Unfortunately, the quality of the pitch in the game against North Macedonia left much to be desired. It was such that it affected many of our players, and now we simply cannot avoid rotation in the game against Ukraine.”
Italy vs Ukraine Prediction:
The Squadra Azzurra, as the reigning European champions and Nations League semi-finalists, are the obvious favourites for the meeting against Ukraine. In addition, Italy missed the World Cup and are in danger of slipping out of the Euros, so there will be no problems with motivation for the qualification match. They have to pick up a win to be able to edge out their direct rival for second place in Group C, they need to gain momentum and confidence. However, the Blues have obvious problems that could hinder a comfortable victory: they are missing attacking leaders Chiesa and Pellegrini, while Luciano Spalletti has only recently taken charge of the national team and has not yet found the optimal line-up and strategies to squeeze the potential out of the talent that is available. However, his wealth of experience and winning mentality will definitely benefit the stagnating Italian national side.
At the same time, Ukraine does have a cohesive squad, with all the important players available. Moreover, the team is not really inferior in talent to their vis-a-vis from Western Europe. Rebrov’s men show a highly tenacious and persistent football and don’t seem to lose points easily. The Yellow-Blues beat North Macedonia (3:2), which Spalletti failed to cope with (1:1), and even led against England, who drew the match thanks to their class (1:1).
We expect an even encounter where the teams will exchange goals.
Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: both teams will score – Yes.
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