Ukraine vs Poland – Group C – 5pm (ITV) – 21.06.16 – Stade Velodrome, MarseilleUkraine will be glad to see the back of Euro 2016.
All but dumped out with one group game remaining after losses to Germany and Northern Ireland, Mykhaylo Fomenko’s men have failed to register a goal in the tournament and have the joint worst record of all the teams (along with Turkey).
Poland, on the other hand, have been unremarkable but consistent.
A 1-0 win against Northern Ireland on matchday one saw Białe Orły temporarily Group C before Germany’s 2-0 win over Tuesday’s opponents Ukraine.
Holding Germany to a 0-0 draw on Thursday allowed Poland to keep the pace with the current world champions, who are now only ahead of them on goal difference thanks to Bastian Schweinsteiger’s 93rd minute strike in the previous game.
Robert Lewandowski, Poland’s dangerman, has been muted so far at this tournament and he must begin to stamp his name on matches if his team are to progress through the knockout stages.
Fortune has favoured Poland in that they face a deflated Ukraine side who, despite controlling much of the ball against Northern Ireland, failed to utilise their possession effectively.
This is the type of fixture that will allow Białe Orły to build their play slowly, allowing Lewandowski to get into the positions from which he is most effective.
Realistically, only a loss to Ukraine and a draw in the game between Germany and Northern Ireland will see Poland fail to qualify automatically for the next round.
Recommendation: Poland to win and under 2.5 goals
Robert Lewandowski to score first and Poland to win at 6.00
Both teams to score, no draw at 2.75
- Ukraine and Poland have met seven times previously, with Ukraine winning three games to Poland’s two
- Ukraine are unbeaten in the last five meetings between the two sides
- Just once in the last five games between Ukraine and Poland has either team managed to score more than once
- Ukraine failing to score in their last four games at the Euros is a joint-record in the history of the tournament.
- Poland have never scored more than one goal at the Euros (8 games). Their last shot on target at this year’s competition was 98 minutes ago, in their opener against Northern Ireland.
- Andriy Yarmolenko, Ukraine’s top scorer in qualifying, scored in each of the last two meetings between these sides during 2014 World Cup qualifying
- Robert Lewandowski scored in the 17th minute of his first game at the Euros (v Greece in 2012). Since then, he’s failed to find the net or deliver an assist in the competition in 433 minutes.
- Jakub Blaszczykowski has been directly involved in Poland’s last three goals at the Euros (1G, 2A).