After both teams suffered defeats in their opening games, Ukraine and North Macedonia will attempt taking maximum points off each other when they square off on Thursday.
European Championship 2020
Venue: National Arena Bucharest
Ukraine put on a spirited display against the Netherlands and could count themselves unlucky to lose the game after coming from two goals down to level the scoreline at 2-2. Nevertheless, their entertaining 3-2 loss to the Netherlands made it six consecutive European Championship defeats for Ukraine, a tournament record.
However, they come into this game as favorites and should have enough to win, but their problems at the back will need to be addressed if they are to stand any chance of beating a plucky North Macedonian side.
When 37-year-old Pandev equalised for North Macedonia against Austria, the atmosphere became electric and one could see how much the goal meant to the players and fans alike. Unfortunately, they were not able to pick up any points in their major tournament debut, eventually slumping to a 3-1 defeat.
The team put in a decent display and always looked dangerous on the counter attack and it is a style that could work in a game where they are not expected to see much of the ball.
Viktor Tsygankov remains on the sidelines with a muscle injury, while Oleksandr Zubkov is an injury doubt for this second group game.
North Macedonia manager Igor Angelovski should have a full squad to choose from.
Ukraine’s last five games: DDWWL
North Macedonia’s last five games: WWDWL
These two nations have only played each other four times and there has never been over 2.5 goals in any of the meetings.
Both teams to score in this fixture has yet to happen.
Ukraine are odds on favorites to win this game. They are a pacy side who like to attack from the first whistle and it’s expected that they give North Macedonia a very difficult game.
While North Macedonia who are just in this tournament to enjoy the experience and hope for the best, Ukraine have serious ambitions of reaching the latter stages of the tournament and are in dire need of the three points. At 6/10, Ukraine to win is the way to go.
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