Ukraine - Italy predictions and free betting tips [20/11/2023]
Today as part of the 10th round of the Euro-2024 qualifier, the Italian national team will face Ukraine's national squad. The Southerners, currently second in the tournament table, could secure a trip to the continental championship with just 1 more point, while the Ukrainians solely aim for victory.
Ukraine: Trubin; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matviienko, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk, Zinchenko; Konoplia, Sudakov, Mudryk; Dovbyk.
Italy: Donnarumma; Darmian, Gatti, Acerbi, Dimarco; Barella, Jorginho, Bonaventura; Berardi, Raspadori, Chiesa.
The match will take place in Leverkusen at the BayArena.
Ahead of the final round, Ukraine's national team retains all the chances of making it to the European Championship in Germany next June. Currently, the Yellow-Blues hold 3rd place in the tournament table, having the same points as Italy. Despite a loss in Apennines with a score of 2:1 after a draw with England (1:1) in September, the East European national team kept their focus. Last month, they triumphed over North Macedonia (2:0), and later Malta (1:3), preserving chances for qualification – a win is now a must on Monday. Although, there's a back-up plan: through UEFA's Nations League division B play-offs. The Blue-Yellows did not participate in the World Cup in Qatar, but they made it to Euro 2020, reaching the quarter-finals.
Ukraine can rely on young goalkeeper Trubin (Benfica) and defenders Matviienko (Shakhtar), Mykolenko (Everton), and Zabarnyi (Bournemouth). The midfield will undoubtedly see Stepanenko (Shakhtar, 80 matches), as well as Sydorchuk (Westerlo), Zinchenko (Arsenal, 57 matches, 9 goals), Malinovskyi (Genoa, 56 matches), Karavaev (Dynamo Kyiv), and Zubkov (Shakhtar). Finally, the talented Mudryk (Chelsea), along with the more experienced Yaremchuk (Valencia, 13 goals in 46 matches), and Dovbyk (Girona, 7 goals in 22 matches) will likely appear in the offence. Injured Lunin (Real Madrid), defender Sobol (Strasbourg), and captain Stepanenko (Dynamo Kyiv, 116 matches, 46 goals) are notably missing.
Italy, the reigning European champion, has yet to secure a spot in Germany for the next continental championship. At the moment, the 'Squadra Azzurra' ranks 2nd in Group C, having the same amount of points as their opponents. After a draw with North Macedonia (1:1) in September last year, the Italians triumphed over Ukraine (2:1) in the first round, and last month they thrashed Malta (4:0). However, just a few days later, the Southerners were quickly brought back down to earth by England (3:1), yet Italy easily vanquished North Macedonia (5:2) last Friday. If Luciano Spalletti's men drop to 3rd place, they will have to go through the play-offs – duels that brought doom in the previous two World Cup qualifying campaigns.
Absent from the guest line-up are defenders Toloi (Milan), Calabria (Milan), and Bastoni (Inter), midfielder Locatelli (Juventus), and the second goalkeeper Meret (Napoli), while centre back Bonucci (Union Berlin), Verratti (Al-Arabi) and forward Immobile (Lazio, 57 matches, 17 goals) were not called up by Spalletti for the November's internationals. Midfielder Sandro Tonali (Newcastle) is serving a lengthy suspension for illegal gambling. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Donnarumma (PSG), defenders Darmian (Inter), Acerbi (Inter), Di Lorenzo (Napoli), and Dimarco (Inter), midfielders Barella (Inter, 8 goals), Cristante (Roma), Bonaventura (Fiorentina), as well as wingers Chiesa (Juventus, 5 goals), El Shaarawy (Roma, 6 goals), Berardi (Sassuolo, 8 goals) and Kean (Juventus) are available for the match. Midfield will see Frattesi (Inter, 4 goals in 9 appearances) and the experienced Jorginho (Arsenal, 48 matches).
Ukraine has never defeated Italy in official matches, losing seven out of their previous nine encounters, including a 2:1 defeat in September.
Ukraine – Italy match prediction
A lot is at stake in this match. Proper quakes have hit the Italians in the recent couple of years' crucial matches, despite having a better-quality squad and being the defending European champions. Considering the support from the stands at Leverkusen, the Yellow-Blues will play with double fervour – I'll risk a punt on their not losing.