Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Nations League clash between Ukraine and Republic of Ireland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
At a time when they sit top of Group B1, Republic of Ireland are in second position after recording a much-needed victory over Scotland last time out.
On the back of drab performances against Armenia and Ukraine, there was the suggestion that Stephen Kenny was beginning to come under pressure in the Republic of Ireland dugout.
However, he has long insisted that the Boys In Green are still going through a transitional period, something highlighted by the contrasting display that they produced against Scotland.
Although some nations do not always prioritise the Nations League, it feels important that Republic of Ireland remain at the second tier, and even avoiding defeat in Poland will move them closer towards that goal.
However, having lost out 1-0 to Ukraine last week, Kenny and his players will be motivated to give a better account of themselves, particularly with their opponents threatening to run away with the group.
Only a week has passed since Ukraine came up short against Wales in the World Cup playoff final, Oleksandr Petrakov witnessing numerous chances squandered during the 1-0 defeat in Wales.
In the short time that has followed, the Blue and Yellow have posted successive wins, the triumph in Dublin being followed by a 3-0 success over Armenia.
While the scoreline suggests that Ukraine won the latter of those fixtures convincingly, the deadlock was not broken until shortly after the hour mark before they ultimately ran riot.
After an intense period, more team changes could follow on Tuesday, but there is a depth about this squad that may render any rotation irrelevant.
Ukraine Nations League form:
Ukraine form (all competitions):
Republic of Ireland Nations League form:
Republic of Ireland form (all competitions):
Left-back Vitaliy Mylolenko may be restored to the Ukraine starting lineup, allowing for Oleksandr Zinchenko to return to the midfield.
Kenny faces making a number of changes to his Republic of Ireland XI, with Shane Duffy suspended and Obafemi having picked up a groin injury.
Ukraine possible starting lineup:
Pyatov; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matvienko, Mylolenko; Zinchenko, Sydorchuk, Shaparenko; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Mudryk
Republic of Ireland possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Egan, Collins, O’Shea; Browne, Knight, Hendrick, Molumby, McClean; Robinson, Parrott
We say: Ukraine 2-0 Republic of Ireland
While Republic of Ireland were hugely impressive last time out, the aforementioned selection issues will not do Kenny’s men any favours. With that in mind, we feel that Ukraine will run out comfortable winners, potentially scoring a goal in either half.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
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