Ukraine vs Austria, line-up & match tips, the two nations head into the meeting level on three points after both beating North Macedonia and losing to Netherlands in their opening two matches, so a draw would almost certainly see both teams progress to the knockout stages.

Match preview

Ukraine vs Austria, line-up & match tips
Ukraine’s Roman Yaremchuk celebrates scoring against North Macedonia at Euro 2020 on June 17, 2021
© Reuters

After falling to Denzel Dumfries’s late winner in a pulsating 3-2 defeat to Netherlands in their opening match, Ukraine bounced back with a 2-1 win against North Macedonia on Thursday.

Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk, who both scored in the defeat to Frank de Boer’s side, got themselves on the scoresheet once again during a comfortable first half, but Ezgjan Alioski’s strike before the hour mark set up a nervy finish to the game.

However, Andriy Shevchenko’s side managed to hold on to ensure that destiny remains in their own hands ahead of their last group game against Austria on Monday.

Due to having scored one more goal than the Austrians, a draw would guarantee Ukraine’s progression to the last 16 in second place, so it remains to be seen whether Shevchenko sets up his side in a more cautious manner than we have seen so far.

 

Ukraine vs Austria, line-up & match tips

Austria’s David Alaba pictured on March 31, 2021
© Reuters

For Austria, then, playing for a draw would be a more risky strategy, as it would mean that they would be hoping to be one of the four best third-placed teams in order to advance in the competition.

However, it is tough to envisage any side with four points and a neutral goal difference not going through given that one or two third-placed teams from other groups are likely to only have three points (or perhaps four points with a negative goal difference).

Should Ukraine and Austria essentially play for a draw as many people are predicting, it would not be the first time the Austrian national team have been embroiled in a similarly controversial scenario.

For Austria, then, playing for a draw would be a more risky strategy, as it would mean that they would be hoping to be one of the four best third-placed teams in order to advance in the competition.

However, it is tough to envisage any side with four points and a neutral goal difference not going through given that one or two third-placed teams from other groups are likely to only have three points (or perhaps four points with a negative goal difference).

Should Ukraine and Austria essentially play for a draw as many people are predicting, it would not be the first time the Austrian national team have been embroiled in a similarly controversial scenario.

Heading into their final group game against West Germany at the 1982 World Cup, both nations knew that a one or two-goal victory for the West Germans would guarantee both sides’ progression to the knockout stages. West Germany duly took the lead after 10 minutes, with neither side even attempting to attack for the rest of the match.

Let us hope we do not see a similar spectacle on Monday. In fairness, having comfortably been beaten 2-0 by Netherlands on Thursday, Austria manager Franco Foda may look to prioritise restoring confidence within his ranks by going for the win.

 

Team News

Austria's Marko Arnautovic celebrates scoring against North Macedonia at Euro 2020 on June 13, 2021© Reuters

Ukraine will stay without winger Oleksandr Zubkov, who went off with a muscle strain in their initial match against Netherlands, however in any case Shevchenko seems to throw a tantrum crew to browse.

The 44-year-old brought Mykola Shaparenko and Taras Stepanenko into his midfield against North Macedonia, with the Blue and Yellow’s looking more adjusted subsequently, so it very well may be an unaltered line-up from the 2-1 success.

Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk will be quick to track down the rear of the net by and by as the assaulting team contend with the preferences of Patrik Schick, Romelu Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ciro Immobile to acquire the competition’s Golden Boot.

Austria, in the interim, will welcome Marko Arnautovic back to the overlay after the previous West Ham United and Stoke City forward served his one-match boycott against Netherlands.

The 32-year-old celebrated in a furious way in the wake of falling off the seat to score against North Macedonia, with UEFA suspending him for “offending another player.”

Before Arnautovic’s boycott, Foda had recommended that the forward was set to begin against Netherlands, so after a limp hostile presentation we expect the forward to come into Austria’s beginning XI.

Sasa Kalajdzic could additionally be reestablished close by him in assault after Christoph Baumgartner and Michael Gregoritsch failed to intrigue against De Boer’s side.

Ukraine possible starting lineup:
Bushchan; Karavayev, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko; Shaparenko, Stepanenko, Zinchenko; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Malinovskiy

Austria possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Dragovic, Alaba, Hinteregger; Lainer, Laimer, Schlager, Sabitzer, Ulmer; Kalajdzic, Arnautovic

 

Ukraine vs Austria
Over 1.5 Goals