Ukraine vs Portugal Preview: Match preview, Match details, Player to watch out for, Betting Tips and more | European Qualifiers 2019/20
Back in June, Portugal triumphed in the inaugural UEFA Nations League on their home patch, thereby signalling that the Euro 2016 victory wasn’t just a flash in the pan. Subsequently, Portugal, courtesy the win, had gotten the wind it required in its sails after a sub-standard start to their European qualifying campaign.
The Iberian nation played out dull and dreary draws against Ukraine and Serbia at home, meaning that the former stole a march on them, a run that has propelled the Ukrainians to the perch of the Group B table.
Under the tutelage of Andriy Shevchenko, they’ve strung together five consecutive victories, finding the back of the net 13 times and conceding just a solitary goal across those games.
More impressively though, Ukraine have been in stupendous form over the past couple of years, having lost only five times with the legendary former striker at the helm.
Thus, Portugal will have a job on their hands on Monday, considering the hosts’ recent pedigree and the vociferous crowd expected to greet the Iberians.
Additionally, there’s the small matter of the encounter being the final opportunity for the Portuguese to peg Ukraine back and consequently, restore its advantage in the group.
Hence, the contest on Monday is brimming with a plethora of sub-plots, with each narrative just as intriguing as the other. In the process, the stage is set for a thrilling affair as both sides hope to cement its spot at next year’s continental party, even if it might come at the expense of the opposition.
Date: 14th October, 2019
Time: 09:45 pm (Local Time); 12:15 am IST on the 15th of October, 2019
Venue: Kiev Olympic Stadium, Kiev
Head to Head Record
Total Matches Played: 3 matches
Ukraine: 1 win
Portugal: 1 win
Draw: 1 draw
Form Guide (Last five competitive matches; Most recent first)
Ukraine Predicted XI: Andriy Pyatov; Serhiy Bolbat, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Mykola Matvienko, Eduard Sobol; Marlos, Ruslan Malinovskiy, Taras Stepanenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Andriy Yarmolenko, Junior Moraes
Portugal Predicted XI: Rui Patricio; Nelson Semedo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro; Danilo Pereira, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes; Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo
Players to watch out for
Whenever Cristiano Ronaldo takes the field, it is quite tough for anyone, whether it be the opposition or the onlookers, to look past him as the point of difference. Having made a living scoring important goals, the forward is perhaps the greatest footballer to have ever graced football, meaning that he has a proud reputation to keep intact, considering that that could take a hit if Portugal fail to qualify for a competition they’re meant to defend.
Moreover, Ronaldo comes into the game having bagged his 94th goal in national colours against Luxembourg. Thus, he would be looking to continue traversing on that upward trajectory and add another to his tally when Portugal travel to Ukraine.
After all, there aren’t many apart from the mercurial forward one would look towards when searching for a goal in a clutch clash.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has given a good account of himself for Manchester City this season and he would be hoping to translate that onto the international front. Capable of functioning as a defender or a midfielder, the Ukrainian is a technically adept player who boasts the ability to unlock defences.
Against Portugal, the City man would, in all likelihood, play a slightly more advanced role on the left flank, meaning that he would be accorded more freedom to wreak havoc in the offensive third. And even though he might have his hands full against Bernardo and Semedo, he has previously showcased an inclination to shine when Ukraine have needed it most.
Ukraine win: 3.40
Portugal win: 2.00