Wales vs Ukraine. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more￼
The Path A play-off final for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ticket had been scheduled for late March, but it was postponed until early June as the Russian aggressor insidiously attacked sovereign Ukraine without a declaration of war, changing the life of the world.
Despite everything, the Ukraine national team is now just one step away from the Mundial. Will Olexandr Petrakov’s team be able to gift their fellow compatriots the feast that is so much needed at such a difficult time? Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
Wales News & Current Form:
The two-month wait to determine their future play-off opponents was not particularly fruitful for the Dragons. They played only two games in that period. First, they drew with the Czech Republic in a friendly (1-1) and then suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Poland in the opening game of the new Nations League campaign.
As for style of play – it was gradually shaped under Ryan Giggs. It was largely thanks to him that the team qualified for Euro 2020. But at the tournament itself, the team played under the leadership of Robert Page, who temporarily took charge of the national team. Back then, Giggs was involved in a scandal with allegations of beating two women. Page eventually made some tactical adjustments to the existing set-up, reorganising the game into 4-1-4-1 and 3-5-2 formations.
In the group stage of the qualifying campaign, Wales were not seeking to take the initiative in games, controlling the ball on average 47.9 percent of the time. Much of the game up front was based on counterattacking, with players making 13.3 interceptions per game. The attacks that most often came from team leaders, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale, resulted in an average of 13.1 shots on goal (4.6 of which were on target).
Only one World Cup qualifying meeting in Qatar saw the Dragons fail to score. Talking about the squad, Robert Page was sure to give a rest to key players before the crucial play-off game against Ukranians. Only Benjamin Cabango will not be able to help his compatriots. The rest of the leaders are ready to take the final step to secure a ticket.
Ukraine News & Current Form:
The Ukraine national team were soon left without a coach after their performance at UEFA EURO 2020 under Andriy Shevchenko, which saw them progress through to the quarter-finals. Petrakov was appointed acting manager in mid-August 2021. The World Cup qualifiers had already been played under his guidance.
Not without a bit of luck Ukraine made it through to the qualification play-offs, winning only two games and drawing six times. The team played energetically up front, completing their attacks with an average of 15.3 shots on goal (4.9 of which were on target). However, their realization was poor. Although the Ukrainians scored 11 goals in eight games, never leaving the field in frustration.
In their last group-stage game against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yarmolenko and Co. needed to ensure a victory, and they were counting on the Finns’ defeat against France. Everything went according to that script, and the Yellow and Blue found themselves in the WC Qualifiers play-off.
Preparations for the matches began in May with a training camp in the Slovenian town of Brdo, and continued with a series of friendlies against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Empoli and Rijeka that were more likely to have charitable status. Back then, Oleksandr Petrakov could only rely on the UPL players, as the star legionnaires joined the team only on the eve of the match against Scotland.
On the one hand, it allowed the players to get back into the playing form, as the majority of the starting lineup players did not have proper match practice for almost half a year after the Ukrainian Premier League went on winter break. On the other hand, it expectedly affected the cohesion of players’ bonds and mutual understanding.
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However, as the match against Scotland has shown, the Yellow-and-Blues are ready for the attacking football as well as to handle the initiative of the match, something they lacked in the group stage of qualifiers. Oleksandr Petrakov opted for a 4-1-4-1 formation, switching to a 4-1-3-2 formation in the course of the game. It turned out to be quite effective.
The Ukraine national team overloaded the left wing, where the Vitaliy Mykolenko – Oleksandr Zinchenko – Viktor Tsygankov tandem was operating nicely. Controlling the ball 58.4% of the game time, they took 15 shots. Eight of them were on target, with three finding the back of the net. The defence, on the other hand, has allowed the Scots to produce only one goal.
True, the Ukraine national team performed worse than the Welsh team in the group stage of qualification, but the yellow and blue team in general had a more competitive group. In addition, Oleksandr Petrakov found himself in a position of forced preparation for the play-offs. And we shouldn’t forget about the background around football either.
Most of the players in the starting lineup haven’t had a full game practice in the past six months, so that might affect the game in the final period. That said, the game will take place in the Welsh capital at Cardiff City Stadium, so the Dragons are clearly in a better position.
Wales season form guide (all competitions): W-W-D-W-D-L
Ukraine season form guide (all competitions): D-W-D-D-W-W
Wales vs Ukraine Head-To-Head Record:
The teams have faced each other only three times, twice in 2001 during a World Cup qualifier and once in a friendly six years ago.
- 28.03.2001, Wales v Ukraine – 1 : 1;
- 06.06.2001, Ukraine v Wales – 1 : 1;
- 28.03.2016, Ukraine v Wales – 1 : 0.
Wales vs Ukraine Predicted XI:
Wales possible starting lineup: Hennessey; Rodon, Ampadu, Davies; Roberts, Ramsey, Allen, Williams; Wilson, Bale, James.
Ukraine possible starting lineup: Bushchan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matvienko, Mykolenko; Malinovskyi, Stepanenko, Zinchenko; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Tsygankov.
Statistical preview of the match Wales vs Ukraine:
- Wales have scored in 8 of their last 9 home matches in the World Cup Qualifiers.
- Ukraine have conceded in 9 of their last 10 away matches in the World Cup Qualifiers.
- Ukraine have scored more than 1.5 away goals in 5 matches in a row.
- Wales have scored less than 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 home matches.
- Ukraine has not lost away in 9 consecutive matches in the World Cup Qualifiers.
What has been said before the match:
“We’re all excited and you can see what the squad are all about as a group. It’s just another game for us, we understand the importance of it and we have a plan in place. This is an opportunity for Wales to qualify for the World Cup and our focus is only on that.”
“We can only control what comes into our environment. We’re sympathetic, of course we are, but we have a job to do. It’s massive for the country, there’s an excitement and buzz about the place. I’ll sleep well tonight because of the quality that we have in our changing room, I’m excited by it. Ukraine pose a threat and they’re there for a reason. They’re a good outfit but we’re confident going into it.”
“Competitions like this don’t come around too often. We always want to improve, and as much as we were pleased with the result against Austria there’s things we can improve on. When you look at the group of players we’ve got now, it’s not just an eleven. We’ve got that strength in depth, and we’re very capable of competing against these top European teams now. We won’t need to build the players up for this game, that’s for sure. They all understand the importance of it, but we have to trust in the process and what we’ve worked on.”
“Wales are a very well-organised team. I see a good job done by the coaching staff. There are world class players – Ramsey, Bale, James. We also have a good team, so tomorrow we will see who will go to the 2022 World Cup. I think the match will be good, the fans will like it.”
“The team had a lot of messages [from the Ukraine military]. No one wrote to me personally, that’s up to the responsible staff. The soldiers wrote to the players. Then we were handed a flag which our soldiers signed and we hung it up in the dressing room. The situation in our country is very tough. Not everyone is watching football, we have grief in the country, people are dying. We are thinking about how to make our fans, our army, happy.”
Wales vs Ukraine Prediction:
The Ukraine national team players showed character and a flamboyant attacking display in their clash against the Scots, and will certainly try to bring new joy to the fans and ordinary citizens of the country. In terms of personnel potential the Ukraine national team is as good as the Welsh, and even better in some positions. However, we would not expect them to play reliably in defence, given all the problems with the form.
Most likely, the match will be similar in terms of performance to the Ukrainians’ game with the Scots. It is obvious that the Ukrainian side have no problems with temperament and the ambition to advance to Qatar is really big. Conversely, why be surprised when guys from Manchester City, Atalanta, Benfica, West Ham and Everton all play for Ukraine.
Wales, of course, have a strong squad, albeit their leaders are not in top form. And there should be no such problems with the game tonus, as many players played in the top-5 leagues till the last matchday. Still, the Yellow-and-Blues seem ready to play from a position of strength and go forward for the sake of the fans. It looks like we’re in for a productive encounter.