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Euro 2020: Serbia Out to Snap Ukraine Hoodoo


Euro 2020: Serbia Out to Snap Ukraine Hoodoo

Ukraine vs Serbia

Ukraine and Serbia have been two of the form teams in all of Europe in recent months. Both impressed during the UEFA Nations League as they won their respective groups.

Thanks to their fine performances in that competition, they are assured at least a play-off spot for Euro 2020. However, both teams will still be targeting all three points when they meet in this Group B qualifying matchup.

The Ukrainians currently lead the group over Portugal and Serbia after picking up four points in their first two games.

But the Serbs, who have played just one game thus far, possess some impressive firepower and will be confident of their ability to take the group leaders down.

Talking Points

Ukraine lacking goals

Ukraine currently find themselves top of Group B after two Euro 2020 results. After holding Portugal to a goalless draw in Lisbon, they got lucky against Luxembourg as a stoppage-time own goal got them the 2-1 away win.

Still, Ukraine have had a promising last few months. They topped their Nations League group which featured the Czech Republic and Slovakia after winning their first three group games. Although, they got smashed 4-1 by Slovakia in the finale.

Head coach Andriy Shevchenko was a great striker in his day, but unfortunately, he doesn’t have a decent option in that position at his disposal in this current squad.

It remains to be seen whether veteran forward Andriy Yarmolenko will feature against Serbia. And even if he does, he is unlikely to be at his best after he missed most of the season due to a torn Achilles he suffered back in October.

Winger Yevhen Konoplyanka (19 goals in 79 caps) is the only other player on the squad with over 10 international goals to his name as none of the team’s centre-forwards possess sufficient quality.

With their lack of a reliable goalscorer, the Ukrainians will need a complete team effort to come out on top against Serbia.

Serbia’s impressive firepower

Serbia have only played one qualifying game thus far and that resulted in a 1-1 draw away at Portugal. An early Dusan Tadic penalty was cancelled out by Danilo Pereira.

The Serbs also went up ahead in their previous match, which was a friendly against Germany. But again, they couldn’t quite hold on for the win as they drew 1-1.

Those draws have extended Serbia unbeaten streak to eight matches. They went through the UEFA Nations League unbeaten, scoring four wins and two draws to top their group and gain promotion to League B.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was the top scorer in the entire UEFA Nations League with six goals. However, his place could potentially be under serious threat from Luka Jovic. The 21-year-old had a breakout season with Eintracht Frankfurt as he scored 27 goals in all competitions.

Whoever starts at striker will have Dusan Tadic for support. The 30-year-old is coming off a brilliant campaign with Ajax, scoring 35 goals with 17 assists in all competitions for the Dutch champions, who very nearly made it to the Champions League final.

Serbia will be without two key midfielders Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Nemanja Matic due to injury. But on the whole, their squad — especially up front — remains quite strong and capable of defying the Euro 2020 betting odds.

History

Ukraine and Serbia have met a total of three times, and Ukraine have won all three of them. Two of those three matches have been in Ukraine.

Their very first meeting was back in 2008, where current Ukraine manager Andriy Shevchenko scored in a 2-0 win.

Meanwhile, their most recent victory was in 2016 as Shevchenko was in charge of another 2-0 Ukraine win thanks to goals from Yevhen Shakhov and Yarmolenko.

Betting Tip

Serbia 1X2 @ 2.66

Ukraine may have gotten the better of Serbia in their first three meetings, but Serbia are in prime position to snap their losing skid against the Ukrainians.

Ukraine’s lack of goals in the side is obviously a major concern, one Serbia should be able to capitalise on. The Serbs possess terrific attacking talent in Jovic, Mitrovic, and Tadic, who should be able to find a way past the Ukrainian defence.

SBOBET odds have Serbia priced at 2.73 to win despite having the much superior squad. That advantage in terms of quality should finally manifest itself in the form of a Serbia away win.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

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