Ukraine and Austria will clash on Monday, June 21, in their final fixture of EURO 2020. Both teams are in an excellent spot to advance into the knockout stage via the group or as one of the highest-rated third-placed team; however, a loss today could see one of the two eliminated from the tournament.
Ukraine vs Austria
When: Monday, June 21 – 19:00 EEST
Where: Arena Națională in Bucharest, Romania
Weather: Partly cloudy, 23°C
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır
Ahead of the final round of the group phase, Ukraine and Austria have three points each. Thanks to the goal difference, Ukraine are in the #2 position, while Austria sit in third.
If nothing changed, both Ukraine and Austria would advance to the next stage. That is because Austria would be ranked among the top third-place teams. But what if something unexpected happened in the final round of the group phase?
If one team batters the other, the chance is that the losing team would end up without a spot in the knockouts. This is why avoiding a defeat is the primary goal of both Ukraine and Austria. You can expect both teams to go with a more conservative strategy for this afternoon’s game.
A Draw Would See Ukraine Finish in #2 Place
If teams end the group stage on level points, their head-to-head record would be used as a tie-breaker, meaning if the game ends in a draw, the team with a better score difference would get the advantage. And if they have the same score difference, the team with more goals would finish higher.
Considering that Ukraine have a 4-4 goal record, in the case of a draw with Austria (who have a 3-3 score difference), they would finish in second.
A draw in this game would mean that Ukraine don’t need to worry about what’s going on in the Netherlands vs North Macedonia game. Even if North Macedonia manage to beat the Dutch, they would still finish behind Ukraine, Austria, and the Netherlands.
At the same time, Ukraine have no chance of finishing first. Even if they got to level points with the Dutch, they would end in second, since they lost to Netherlands (2-3) in the opening round.
On the other hand, Ukraine can’t end the group stage last, however, they can drop down to third with a defeat today. Once again, it’s due to the H2H records. Considering that they won against Macedonia, they are guaranteed to finish above the Lions.
Still, finishing third would not be a guarantee that they would get to the knockouts and could not make it out if they lose badly today. That’s why it’s almost certain Ukraine will take this game seriously. They’re going to do all they can to keep the opposition far away from their goal.
A Draw Would (Probably) Get Austria to the Knockout Stage
Although they cannot finish below third, Das Team surely don’t want to lose this evening, as it would ruin their score difference. With a +0 goal difference, it seems pretty realistic that Austria will finish as one of the best four third-place teams.
Winning against Ukraine would get them to second place, which comes with a guaranteed ticket to the knockout stage. The issue is that Ukraine look like a stronger team. Although the difference in quality isn’t too drastic, Ukraine have shown much more on this tournament than Austria.
The Austrians did beat North Macedonia in their EURO 2020 opener, but they were pretty anaemic in the game against the Dutch. In that game, only one of their attempts went towards the opposition goal.
One of the reasons for this could be the fact that they played without one of their most lethal forwards, Marco Arnautovic. He got served a one-game suspension after the game with North Macedonia, in which he offended one of the rival players.
Ukraine vs Austria Betting Picks
A draw would suit both teams perfectly. In the case of such an outcome, both teams would advance into the knockout stage.
Ukraine would finish in second place, while Austria would advance as one of the top four third-place teams.
Pick: Draw – 2.10 at Sportmarket
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