Final Score: Scotland 3 – 0 Ukraine
Scotland Vs Ukraine preview
The international break kicks off with a rescheduled UEFA Nations League (UNL) encounter between Scotland and Ukraine, and it’s the hosts who will be out for revenge after Ukraine knocked them out of World Cup qualifying just a few short months ago.
Since that comprehensive 3-1 defeat, Scotland have bounced back with two wins from three UNL games as they now look to leapfrog Ukraine into top spot with another victory here.
Just four points from the final three games in this league will match their return from the last UNL edition, but that might not be enough to achieve promotion to League A for the first time.
Beginning their UNL journey in League C in the inaugural edition, an unbeaten home record has helped Steve Clarke’s men get to the precipice of the top flight, and with this the first of two successive home UNL games, promotion is now a realistic possibility especially if they can win here.
Much has changed since Ukraine’s triumphant return to the international football scene on their last visit to Hampden Park. In defiant fashion, the Ukraine Premier League began in the face of war, while the national team are unbeaten in four of their five internationals since the conflict began, though the only defeat was perhaps the most important as it denied them entry to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Coach Oleksandr Petrakov was dealt a major blow last week as the influential Oleksandr Zinchenko withdrew from the squad due to injury. Asserting their dominance in the promotion race will be no mean feat then, especially considering that Ukraine conceded at least three goals in four straight UNL away games until their 1-0 win in Ireland in their most recent trip.
Players to watch: Often quickly away, Scotland’s Ché Adams scored his team’s opener in his last four scoring appearances for club side Southampton. Meanwhile, Ukraine captain Andriy Yarmolenko has four goal contributions across his last four appearances for club & country, but according to Yarmolenko his main goal here is to help “bring joy to people so they can be distracted, at least for 90 minutes”.
Hot streak: There hasn’t been a goal scored in the opening half-hour in any of Ukraine’s five internationals since their return to action on June 1st.
Our Pick: Ukraine Win