Ukraine and North Macedonia will lock horns on Thursday, June 17, at Arena Națională in Bucharest, Romania, for the first time since 2015. Ukraine won that match 2-0 and will hope to emulate that success as they look to bounce back from a 2-3 loss against the Netherlands in their EURO 2020 opener.
Ukraine vs North Macedonia
When: Thursday, June 17 – 16:00 EEST
Where: Arena Națională in Bucharest, Romania
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 23°C°
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Ukraine and North Macedonia will look to put their names on the board today when they chase their first points of EURO 2020. Another defeat would all but guarantee an elimination for one of the teams, which should serve as an added motivation.
Ukraine won both of their last two meetings with North Macedonia with 2-0 (2015) and 1-0 (2014), with the remaining two bouts ending in 1-0 victory for the Lions (2004) and a 0-0 stalemate back in 2003.
Ukraine – Good But Not Great
Ukraine enter their second match of EURO 2020 after a disappointing 2-3 defeat against the Oranje on Sunday. Andriy Shevchenko’s men played well that day and kept pace with the Netherlands for the first 45 minutes, but things turned sour in the second half.
There were five goals in the last 45 minutes of the game, three of which ended behind Georgi Bachchan, who was unable to stop Netherlands’ potent frontline. However, Ukraine didn’t stay silent and produced two goals of their own, courtesy of West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko and Gent’s Roman Yaremchuk in 75’ and 78’ minute.
Although an impressive performance on paper, Ukraine haven’t shown much besides those two goals. The main thing we can take from that bout is Ukraine’s poor showings in the backline. They give up 15 goal attempts, six of which were directed towards the goal.
North Macedonia Need to Learn From Their Mistakes
North Macedonia suffered a devastating 1-3 loss against Austria on Sunday, which puts them in an unenviable position as they look to enter the knockout stage. With a defeat against (arguably) the weakest team of the three, North Macedonia’s chances to advance seem slim to none, but that doesn’t tell us much about how this game should play out.
Das Team deserved to win that day as they were better organized and very efficient in taking advantage of North Macedonia’s mistakes in the back. As shaky as North Macedonia were last time out, they have shown that they’re ready to fight, which gives us hope that they can put up a show today.
Being EURO 2020 newcomers, it’s hard to be overly excited about North Macedonia performing well against the second-favorites to win Group C. That said, the Balkan squad have done well against teams of similar caliber before.
Their most notable result of 2021 came at the end of March when North Macedonia took down Germany (2-1) in Duisburg. They have since added two more victories against Slovenia (1-1) and Kazahstan (4-0).
Ukraine vs North Macedonia Betting Picks
Igor Angelovski’s side might not have impressed anyone with their loss against Austria, but it’s not like they were terrible. A few mistakes in the back cost them the win in the end, but we expect them to learn from their mistakes and perform better today.
This is more about the betting odds not showing the accurate picture rather anything else. North Macedonia might not end the day with all three points, but if they managed to take down Germany just under three months ago, they should do well against Ukraine as well.
Prediction: North Macedonia +0.50 Asian Handicap (same as Double Chance) – 2.29 at Sportmarket
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