Nations League: Scotland vs Ukraine. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more￼
Scotland will host Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League 1th-matchday match at the Hampden Park Stadium. The fixture will take place on September 22, beginning at 00:15 IST.
Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
Scotland News & Current Form:
The Scots appear to be Ukraine’s main rivals in the group, being just one point behind at the moment. They defeated Armenia twice, scoring six goals in two games, but were unexpectedly thrashed by Ireland (0-3). It was probably the result that would ultimately have a decisive impact on the final group standings. Ukraine will practically guarantee first place if they beat Scotland away, while a draw will certainly allow Petrakov’s side to play to the same peaceful result in a week. Clarke’s side, in turn, are performing well at their home ground, so they will be aiming to take all three points and not let the Ukrainians pull away in this fixture.
The Scots have no major staffing problems before the game. The biggest loss is the absence of Andrew Robertson. The Liverpool defender got injured in the UEFA Champions League match against Napoli. But there are plenty of options for that position like Kieran Tierney or Aaron Hickey. John Souttar and Grant Hanley are also absent, which may see Greg Taylor play on the left of a back three.
Ukraine News & Current Form:
The Ukraine national team have failed to qualify for the FIFA 2022 World Cup through the knockout rounds, but are leading their group in the Nations League second division, having played one fewer game than Ireland and Armenia. Scotland have the same number of games – in fact, Ukraine will now play their missed first-round clash in Glasgow. The reason for this postponement was the ongoing World Cup qualifiers, which were not held on time as planned in March, due to the Russian invasion. The matches were moved to June and back then Ukraine registered a 3-1 away win against Scotland, before losing the decisive game to Wales 0-1 a few days later.
As a result, the Ukrainians played five games in a half month. The last three, respectively, were in the Nations League, and Oleksandr Petrakov’s team picked up seven points, beating Ireland away and Armenia at home, and then playing a draw against Ireland in Lodz.
The Yellow and Blue now have two matches ahead of them against the main rival in the group, the well-explored Scotland.
The return leg will be the finale game for both teams, and the first leg is vital in determining whether or not the return leg will be of any tournament significance. And a number of factors may make it harder for Ukranians to decide it all in the upcoming encounter.
Firstly, a lot of time is spent particularly on traveling, rather than getting ready for the match: they had to go to a training camp in Poland. And then, from there, to Glasgow. After that – to Yerevan which will take a lot of time. Another reason is the loss of one of the team’s leaders Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Two more core players of the Blues-Yellows – the goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan and midfielder Mykola Shaparenko – are also sidelined due to injuries. Hence, there is the question of who will play in midfield. Moreover, another essenatial player, Vitaliy Mykolenko from Everton, sustained an injury on the eve of the match and was not training this week. He now risks being left out of the starting line-up.
However, there are positive trends too, as Ukraine forward Artem Dovbyk, who scored only four goals in games for the Yellow-Blues, netted two of them at the Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow. The first was scored against Sweden on 29 June 2021 in the UEFA EURO 2020 1/8 final and brought victory to Ukraine, helping the team to reach the quarterfinals. While the second one came on 1st of June 2022 to help Petrakov’s team secure a comfortable victory in WC Qualifiers.
Scotland form guide (all competitions): D-D-L-W-L-W
Ukraine form guide (all competitions): W-W-L-W-W-D
Scotland vs Ukraine Head-To-Head Record:
About three months ago, the teams had already met in a knockout stage match for a place in the 2022 World Cup. The Ukrainians defeated Scotland at Hampden Park thanks to goals from Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk and Dovbik, although they will not travel to Qatar as they lost the final game to Wales. The teams had met twice earlier in UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying, where they exchanged home victories, with both teams failing to get out of the group.
Scotland vs Ukraine Predicted XI:
Scotland possible starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Gordon; Hendry, Hanley, McKenna; Patterson, McGinn, McGregor, Tierney; Fraser, Adams, Christie.
Ukraine possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Lunin; Karavayev, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko; Kovalenko, Sydorchuk, Malinovskyi; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Mudryk.
Statistical preview of the match Scotland vs Ukraine:
- Ukraine have lost only one out of their last ten matches in all competitions.
- Scotland have lost only one match out of their last ten at home.
- The last two games between the teams have ended with the total over 2.5 goals.
- The Scotland national team are unbeated so far in the Nations League at home (5 wins and a draw).
- The Ukraine national team have lost 4 out of 6 away matches in the Nations League (2 wins).
- Scotland scores 1.8 goals when playing at home and Ukraine scores 1.75 goals when playing away (on average).
What has been said before the match:
Steve Clarke, the Scotland national team gaffer:
“I don’t think it will have the same edge because that game in June was pretty unique with the circumstances leading into it. It’ll be slightly different but it’s still a big game for two teams that want to top the section. I think the Scottish public, the Scottish fans now will know that Ukraine are a very good team.”
“I’m sure they will play to the same level but what I’m looking for from our team is that we get back to the level that we can and then we’ll see what the result is. I think the players knew what to expect in the summer but we just didn’t reach our levels. Hopefully this time we do.”
Andriy Yarmolenko, midfielder of the national team of Ukraine:
“My memories of the previous games in this stadium are very positive. However, this is already a history. Now we are getting ready for a new game, a new battle. We are preparing for tomorrow’s match in a concentrated way.”
“We are focused on winning this match. You should always think about that if you play football. Of course, we know that Scotland are a strong team. However, we have our own game plan, we are concentrating on it. We know how to play. We hope to win, but we understand that it will be difficult.”
“Nothing has changed, there is a war going on in our country. We want to bring our fans, the Ukrainians some joy with our game. We are now playing for our people, for all those who are now in Ukraine and just want to distract from the war. We have to make Ukrainians have at least a little smile on their faces for at least 90 minutes.”
Scotland vs Ukraine Prediction:
The Ukrainians are returning to Scotland in the status of slight underdogs. While the main problem with the Ukrainians in early summer was a lack of game practice and the poor form of most of their players, the current problem is the loss of leaders who were essential to the team’s performance. The loss of their starting goalkeeper could be even more embarrassing than the absence of the Arsenal and Everton players; Buschan has more than once saved his teammates from conceding goals in recent games after legend Andriy Pyatov left.
Another thing is that the Ukrainians do not really need to play hard and win against their main rival on home soil. A draw will satisfy the visitors and leave them in control of the group. The Scots, in turn, will try to take revenge and close the gap, with the home stands giving them the boost for it. But it is not certain they will succeed. The Ukraine national team know how to play defensively and the home side simply lacks the attacking power to pull off a convincing win, with all of the Scottish front line leaders out of shape at the moment.
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Parimatch News staff prediction: