Ukraine vs North Macedonia: Draw unlikely to serve either in Group C clash

It could be a win-or-bust situation for Ukraine and North Macedonia when they meet at Euro 2020.

When: Thursday June 17, 14:00 GMT

Where: Bucharest

How to watch: ITV

Best Bets

Goran Pandev to score and Visar Musliu to receive a card at 16/1

Ukraine to win and over 6.5 Ukraine corners at 7/2

Ukraine to win to nil at 17/10

Both of these teams will head into Thursday's game feeling like they are in last-chance saloon so far as their Euro 2020 hopes are concerned.

Ukraine suffered an agonising late loss to the Netherlands in their first match, although they will fancy their chances of getting their campaign back on track against the group minnows.

North Macedonia shouldn't be taken lightly, though, as Austria found. It took a pair of late goals to beat them in their opening match, so don't expect them to roll over here.

Ruslan Malinovskiy
Ruslan Malinovskiy

Previous three meetings

North Macedonia 0-2 Ukraine (Qualifier - October 9, 2015)

The scoreline suggests this one was a bit of a routine outing for Ukraine but that would be misleading.

The Ukrainians faced stiff resistance in Skopje, and needed a second-half penalty to break the deadlock, with Yevgen Seleznyov obliging from the spot.

Even then, the result was in doubt right up until Artem Kravets added a second three minutes from time.

Ukraine 1-0 North Macedonia (Qualifier - October 12, 2014)

It was Ukraine who came out on top in the reserve fixture as well during the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, but again it didn't come easy.

They grabbed the lead on the stroke of half-time from Serhiy Sydorchuk and it was enough to win the match.

It could, and should, have been more, but Andriy Yarmolenko squandered a second-half penalty.

North Macedonia 1-0 Ukraine (Friendly - March 31, 2004)

If Ukraine need a waring about not taking North Macedonia lightly, then they can look back at their clash in 2004.

It was not a competitive game so it's hard to know just how seriously we can take it, but Goran Stavrevski's first half winner was a memorable one for the hosts.

Ukraine showed their quality but...

Ukraine showed their best and worst in their opening match against the Netherlands.

Andriy Shevchenko's men were dominated for too much of the match, and found themselves 2-0 down in the second half. However, they managed to produce two brilliant goals to haul themselves back level.

Their collective fragility, not their individual quality, had the final word though, with the Netherlands grabbing a late winner.

Which one wins out against a North Macedonia will again be the question, although their opposition this time may not have enough quality to punish them.

Ukraine squad

Goalkeepers: Georgiy Bushchan, Andriy Pyatov, Anatolii Trubin

Defenders: Eduard Sobol, Illia Zabarnyi, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Denys Popov, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Vitaliy Mykolenko, Oleksandr Karavaev, Mykola Matviyenko

Midfielders: Serhiy Sydorchuk, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Mykola Shaparenko, Marlos, Yevhen Makarenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Viktor Tsygankov, Taras Stepanenko, Andriy Yarmolenko, Oleksandr Zubkov, Heorhii Sudakov, Roman Bezus

Forwards: Roman Yaremchuk, Artem Besedin, Artem Dovbyk

North Macedonia the dangerous underdogs

Every tournament there tends to be real underdogs who carry some genuine threat, simply because they have nothing to lose.

The likes of Cameroon in Italia '90, Bulgaria in USA '94, Greece in Euro 2004, and Iceland in Euro 2016 punched above their weight with fearless abandon.

There are no signs yet that North Macedonia are going to do that at Euro 2020, but there aren't any signs that they are not, either.

North Macedonia squad

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Adam Davies

Goalkeepers: Stole Dimitrievski, Damjan Siskovski, Riste Jankov

Defenders: Stefan Ristovski, Visar Musliu, Egzon Bejtulai, Kire Ristevski, Gjoko Zajkov, Darko Velkovski, Ezdzan Alioski

Midfielders: Arijan Ademi, Enis Bardhi, Stefan Spirovski, Boban Nikolov, Tihomir Kostadinov, Ferhan Hasani, Eljif Elmas, Daniel Avramovski, Darko Curlinov, Marjan Radeski

Forwards: Goran Pandev, Aleksandar Trajkovski, Ivan Trickovski, Vlatko Stojanovski, Krste Velkovski, Milan Ristovski

International head-to-head

Ukraine wins: 2

Draws: 1

North Macedonia wins: 1

Goalscorer bets

With North Macedonia, there is a little bit of a feeling that if Goran Pandev doesn't score then who will?

The 37-year-old was the man on the scoresheet in their defeat to Austria, and he is 17/4 to score the first goal in this one.

Roman Yaremchuk showed his quality with a brilliant header goal against the Netherlands, and he will be expecting to get more opportunities in this match.

The striker, who had a great record in Belgium last season, is 11/4 for the first goal. Andriy Yarmolenko can be backed at 14/5.

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