Following a thrilling opening fixture loss to Holland, a high-octane Ukraine side will look to find its first win of Euro 2020 when they take on North Macedonia on Thursday morning.
Though Andriy Shevchenko’s side battled back from a 2-0 deficit, some goalkeeping and defensive miscues prevented the squad from gaining a positive result. It now places an even greater emphasis on their second match vs. the Macedonians.
North Macedonia started well vs. Austria, but that quickly faded. Their lack of skill and depth throughout the squad quickly showed against a powerful Austrian attack. And though the Macedonians provided for some solid defending across the majority of the match, some late tallies from the Austrians made the score look worse than it actually was.
With both sides entering match two sitting on 0 points, you’ll have to think both will adamantly push for a victory, which could bring about goals. The Ukrainians love that style of play, while North Macedonia doesn’t get held off the scoresheet all that often either. It could be an entertaining fixture, and we’ve got your betting needs covered. Continue reading beneath the posted odds for further team news, analysis, and a prediction for Ukraine vs. North Macedonia.
Ukraine vs. North Macedonia Betting Odds:
North Macedonia (+510)
Ukraine -0.5 (-150)
North Macedonia +0.5 (-130)
Over 2.5 (+105)
Under 2.5 (-125)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Ukraine vs. North Macedonia Pick:
To begin, it will be fascinating to see how Ukraine decides to approach this match stylistically. They were more defensive than usual against the Dutch their last time out, and it likely backfired. It was only when they opened things up and pushed for offense, that we saw the true firepower of this talented squad.
Expect a more attack-oriented approach this time out vs. Macedonia. Ukraine will go with a 4-3-3 lineup, with both wing-backs routinely advancing play and driving possession down the flanks. Both Ruslan Malinovskiy and Oleksandr Zinchenko had impressive showings vs. the Netherlands, and should be able to dominate their respective match-ups along each of the flanks. That wide play should stretch the Macedonians thin, with dangerous crosses being looped into the box for strong finishers in Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk.
Expect Ukraine to play the style that got them here, opposed to what they showed their last time out. This can be a dynamic squad, and one that can really shred a weak back-line in the final third.
North Macedonia showed a lot of holes against Austria, routinely getting run over in the midfield. They’ll try and force Ukraine inside to clog things up in the centre of the pitch, but whether or not these players have the ability to do so – remains to be seen. This is still a squad that lacks elite-level talent, and everything they do well can be effectively countered by the talent of Ukraine.
Expect the Macedonians to aggressively press and force turnovers in their territory. With pressure, they’ll look to strike on the counter where Goran Pandev and Eljif Elmas have proven to be fairly lethal.
Though the Macedonians play hard and with pride, their talent and defensive structure lacks behind. Ukraine will push the pace, and does have the ability to routinely exploit Macedonia’s shortcomings. With control and constant possession, expect Ukraine to breakthrough Macedonia’s low-block set-up and find the back of the net at least twice. A comfortable Ukrainian victory seems fitting here.