UEFA Euro Qualifying: England vs Ukraine Preview
Three Lions Host Ukraine at Wembley
First Euro 2024 Qualifier for Ukraine
Ukraine are not known for being a powerful footballing nation but they have managed to qualify for the last three editions of the European Championships. Their road to a fourth straight appearance begins against a strong England side on Sunday in Euro 2024 qualifying; however, England have just two days of rest in between their match at Italy on Thursday and their game vs. Ukraine. The Three Lions are also going for a fourth straight appearance and are heavily favored, along with Italy, to get there. We’ll check out the England vs Ukraine betting odds and see if underdogs Ukraine can play spoiler.
England vs Ukraine
Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
England have lost just once in eight matches vs. Ukraine and hold a 5-2-1 record vs. the Blue and Yellow. Most recently, these teams met in the Euro 2020 quarterfinals. Harry Kane scored twice in a routine 4-0 win for the Three Lions. UEFA team stats note that Ukraine have a record of 0-1-2 when playing in England. However, England did manage to lose 4-0 to Hungary on home soil last year.
England Follow Up Italy with Ukraine
- Previous Match: 3/23 at Italy
- Key Absences: M Mason Mount, F Raheem Sterling, F Marcus Rashford
Prospective bettors should certainly keep tabs on England’s match vs. Italy on Thursday. Any new injuries during the course of the match could alter the odds. Also, England haven’t beaten Italy in Italy since 1961, so the match should be a gauge of where Gareth Southgate’s side are at.
Should England lose, the match vs. Ukraine becomes an early must-win and Three Lions fans will be expecting nothing less than a win at Wembley. If England can go 2-0 during this March international break, their UEFA Euro odds will certainly get much shorter.
The result vs. Italy is also important because it could affect who Southgate decides to name in the starting XI for the match. If England can snatch all three points on the road vs. Italy, he could decide to rotate his squad a fair bit. Still, expect big names like Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka to feature in both matches.
England fared quite well in 2020 Euro Qualifiers but they were also in a much weaker group than they are now. Both Italy and Ukraine won their respective groups in 2020 qualifying, which could certainly make things interesting. Groupmates North Macedonia have also shown that they aren’t pushovers and qualified for their first European Championship a few years back.
Also, note that Harry Kane enters the March international break as England joint all-time top scorer, along with Wayne Rooney. It’ll be big news if he manages to score his record-breaking 54th international goal vs. Italy or Ukraine.
Believe it or not, the active England players tied for the second-most goals in the side are Bukayo Saka and Harry Maguire. While Maguire has come under fire for his performances for Manchester United, he’s typically been solid in an England team that effectively masks his weaknesses.
Ukraine Used to Being Underdogs
- Previous Match: N/A, First Qualifier
- Key Absences: GK Heorhiy Bushchan, D Illya Zabarnyi
It came as a big surprise when Ukraine topped their Euro 2020 qualifying group over Portugal and Serbia. Incredibly, the Blue and Yellow put together an unbeaten 6-2-0 record in a difficult group. They’re once again in a difficult group, with two top-ten teams in the FIFA World Rankings.
They don’t quite have the same depth that England and Italy do but Ukraine are a talented team. Take Mykhailo Mudryk for example, who Chelsea recently shelled out $100 million for. Mudryk is a pacey winger who could cause England a lot of problems once he gets running with the ball.
Another Premier League star, Oleksandr Zinchenko, is a key layer for Ukraine. Zinchenko plays his inverted left back role with Arsenal masterfully but he’s a full on midfielder with Ukraine. Vitaliy Mykolenko also plays in the EPL, as a left back for Everton.
Other Ukraine players to watch include midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi, winger Andriy Yarmolenko and forward Roman Yaremchuk. Yarmolenko is just three goals away from matching Andriy Shevchenko’s record as Ukraine’s all-time leading scorer.
While Ukraine did fall 4-0 to England in the Euro quarterfinals it was a big achievement to get there in the first place. Ukraine narrowly missed out on World Cup qualification and drew with France in the process. So, the England vs Ukraine betting odds might not give Ukraine much of a chance, but this is not a team short on belief.
Match Analysis and Odds
While England have historically been a stronger team than Ukraine, the Euro 2020 meeting was a bit of an anomaly. England won that match 4-0 but the previous five meetings finished in draws or were decided by only one goal. The Three Lions enter this one as 1.5-goal favorites at -110 odds to cover.
Meanwhile Ukraine come in at -120 ATS odds. In their last 25 matches, Ukraine have lost by more than a one-goal margin on just two occasions. Meanwhile, England managed three multi-goal wins at the World Cup alone.
That said, Southgate’s squad are heavy favorites to go on and win this one. England display -330 odds to finish the international break with a win. The England vs Ukraine Betting Odds also price visitors Ukraine at +850 odds to get just their second-ever win over the Three Lions. Since the conflict began, Ukraine’s “home matches” have been in Poland so they’re certainly no strangers to playing on the road.
When these teams were in the same World Cup 2014 qualifying group they ended up drawing in both matches. A draw here sits at relatively long +450 odds and it’d be a tidy result for Ukraine. Note that England haven’t won any of their last three matches at home.
They have moved past their debacle of a UEFA Nations League campaign, though and will be motivated to put on a good performance in front of the home fans. Those home fans may be expecting goals, as over 2.5 goals sit at -140 odds.Follow us on Twitter
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