Ukraine vs England Betting Tips: Euro 2020 – 03.07.2021
Last updated: June 30, 2021 by Leon Marshal
England has finally done it! The ghosts of tournaments past have finally been laid to rest, and England ended a 55-year wait for a knock-out win over Germany. The Three Lions will be playing Ukraine at the weekend for a place in the semi-final. Although there are no easy games at this stage, you fancy England will never have a better chance of winning their first European title.
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All roads lead to Rome on Saturday, and the winner of this game between Ukraine and England will then take on the winner between the Czech Republic and Denmark at Wembley in the semi-finals. Get past one of those two, and a final containing Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, or Italy awaits.
|Last Meeting:||UKR 0 – 0 ENG|
|Competition:||UEFA Euro 2020|
A surprise win by Ukraine over the fancied Swedes has set up an intriguing game against England at the weekend.
Few expected plucky Ukraine to still be in the competition at this stage. Ranked 24th in the world and with a squad valued at just £177.48m, they will take on England, ranked 4th and valued according to transfermarkt at £1.1bn, the most valuable team at international level.
The Ukrainians were unlucky to fall to a late defeat in their first group game, a 3-2 loss by the highly-fancied Netherlands. After a goalless first half, the Dutch stormed into a 2-0 lead when Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst scored in the 52nd and 58th minutes. Incredibly, Ukraine evened things up through two goals in four minutes, scored by Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk. Then, Denzel Dumfries won it for the Dutch, scoring the winner in the 85th minute.
In their second group game, another quickfire double, this time from Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk, around the half-hour mark, gave the impression of an easy game. However, the second-half was a tenser affair, especially when North Macedonia pulled a goal back when Ezgjan Alioski scored on the rebound after a penalty miss in the 57th minute. Although the newcomers did push for the win, the game finished 2-1.
In many ways, it is already job done for Ukraine. Expectations have been soundly exceeded, having already won a knock-out game for the first time in their history. They can play their own game against England. A big worry for the team is that of injuries and fatigue. Artem Besedin looks almost certain to miss out; he suffered a nasty injury in the extra-time win over Sweden. They also have doubts over Andriy Yarmolenk, who limped off in the game.
The extra thirty minutes took its toll on the team who have an older average age than their opponents. Despite the woodwork being hit three times between Sweden and Ukraine while the scoreline was 1-1, Ukraine looked happy to settle for extra time with twenty minutes left on the clock.
West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko is Ukraine’s biggest threat. The 31-year-old West Ham man has scored two goals and has two assists in the 356 minutes he has played. Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko is another to fear; the 24-year-old midfielder has a goal and an assist. His 81.5% passing rate is this campaign so far is below his normal averages in the Premier League (89.8%) and in the World Cup qualifiers (93.2%), which suggests to us that there is more to come.
Confident, not complacent is likely to be the message from Gareth Southgate, who only needs to remember the clash with Iceland in Euro 2016 to reinforce the dangers of thinking a game is already won. In Euro 2016, England drew 1-1 with Russia, beat Wales 2-1 and drew 0-0 with Slovakia to get through to the knock-out rounds. A meeting with Iceland looked a bye to the next round, and bookies agreed, pricing an Iceland win at 8.25/1. England crashed out 2-1, Manager Roy Hodgson resigned, and Gareth landed his job due to that game.
In some ways, the jury is still out on Southgate, and his often defensive tactics have baffled fans, especially with the creative talent at the national team’s disposal. However, it could be that these voices are wrong, and Southgate is a genius.
In the 2-0 win against Germany, England rode their luck at times. However, the often ridiculed Jordan Pickford justified Southgate’s confidence with a fine display, saving well from Timo Werner and Kai Havert in each half. The Everton man also played his part in Thomas Muller’s uncharacteristic miss while the score was 1-0.
Raheem Sterling is becoming England’s hero. His goal in the 75th minute, after fine work by Jack Grealish and an assist by Luke Shaw was the 26-year-old’s third goal. The victory was ensured by Harry Kane’s first goal in the competition on 86 minutes. Once again, Grealish was key in the goal, providing the assist for the captain.
England can stand proud and are now in the quarter-finals and have yet to concede a goal, becoming only the second team in the competition’s history to do so. A good omen is that the last time England did this in a major tournament was in 1966, and that worked out well!
An interesting dilemma for Southgate is what formation does he play? Ukraine played with a back three against Sweden, so it seems almost guaranteed that they will stick to the same formation. The temptation will be to keep with the same team that beat Germany, which may mean a delayed introduction for Jack Grealish. While moving to a back four would allow an extra creative player who could prove pivotal in breaking down a stubborn defence.
Another problem for Southgate is Mason Mount. Southgate decided not to play him after returning from self-isolation. The 22-year-old was England’s best player in the 0-0 draw with Scotland and could replace Bukayo Saka.
Another factor to consider will be the lack of fans cheering on England in Rome. The Three Lions have enjoyed home advantage at Wembley for all their games so far and have increased support as restrictions on support have eased.
With Italy on the ‘amber list’ for travel, supporters would have to self-isolate on return, and local rules mean those who travel today would not be able to leave isolation until the day after the game. Meaning support is likely to be minimal. Although the motive for England is to get the job done in Rome and have home support in the semis and final.
Artem Besedin is a major doubt after a leg injury in the win over Sweden.
The Ukraine played with a back three against Sweden, we expect the same here.
Mason Mount could be a starting option for Southgate, Saka could miss out.
Several of England’s players are on yellow cards, Rice, Maguire and Phillips all risk suspension.
|Ukraine (1-3-5-2):||Bushchan, Matvienko, Kryvtsov, Zabarnyi, Zinchenko, Sydorchuk, Stepanenko, Shaparenko, Karavaev, Yaremchuk, Yarmolenko|
|Subs:||Dovbyk, Besyedin, Mykolenko, Bonfim Marlos, Sobol, Pyatov, Tymchyk, Bezus, Tsygankov, Malinovsky, Trubin|
|England (1-3-4-3):||Pickford, Maguire, Stones, Walker, Shaw, Rice, Phillips, James, Sterling, Kane, Mount|
|Subs:||Ramsdale, Johnstone, White, Chilwell, Coady, Mings, Trippier, Bellingham, Henderson, Calvert-Lewin, Foden, Grealish, Rashford, Saka, Sancho|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Teams with the freedom to play with no pressure can often play a great game with no fear, and this could well be the case with Ukraine. A lucky team, having escaped from third in their group, they are unpredictable. They also have aces up their sleeve with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Andriy Yarmolenko. They are likely to give a committed performance.
Maybe it’s a case of the morning after the night before, but we hate to admit that the nagging voice of reason is telling us not to get carried away with England. True, we enjoyed a historic night, but it was only the introduction of Grealish that changed the game against Germany. Before that, Pickford made two great saves; if either had gone in, the result could have been very different. That said, with respect to them, Ukraine is no Germany.
Our head tells us this is going to be a tense affair with few chances throughout the game. Ukraine was happy to defend for long periods of the game against Sweden, and we expect a similar tactic. Substitutes could be key for England; a Jack Grealish pass for a Harry Kane 1-0 win would be our shout.