Ukraine take on the visitors Italy in the round 10 match of group stage of UEFA Euro-2024 qualification. The match will be played on Monday, November 20th at BayArena (Leverkusen).
Ukraine was able to demonstrate itself admirably during the last Euro. They achieved maximum results in this format: not only did they advance from the group stage for the first time, but they also eliminated Sweden in the playoffs, reaching the quarterfinals. However, after that, Shevchenko replaced Petracov in the coaching position, and, at least judging by the final results, this reshuffle was unsuccessful. While the team performed well in the World Cup qualifiers, finishing second in their group (behind only France, the future World Cup finalist), they faced a setback in Wales after winning a playoff match against Scotland. In the Nations League, Ukraine avenged themselves, finishing first in the group. Now they find themselves playing in the most challenging group, where they managed to perform well by collecting all possible points against North Macedonia (although they were trailing 0-2 away but staged a comeback) and Malta, and even securing a 1-1 draw with England. However, they suffered defeats against England and Italy, making their current task challenging, but the lineup is almost optimal.
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Italy managed to shine at the last Euro, winning the tournament deservedly. However, they soon faced disappointment, losing the qualification group's top spot to Switzerland for the World Cup. A complete disgrace followed with a home defeat to North Macedonia in the playoff, causing the grandeur to miss the World Cup once again, as in 2018. They partially redeemed themselves by winning the Nations League group. Still, this summer, they only finished third in the final group, defeating the Netherlands after losing to Spain in the semi-finals. It became clear later that these were Mancini's last matches, leading to the appointment of Saudi Arabia. Roberto was replaced by an even more experienced coach, Spalletti, who initially faced a challenging task. They suffered a home defeat against England in March, and Luciano complicated matters by only securing a draw in Skopje and losing to an unmotivated England away. However, they managed to defeat Ukraine in a head-to-head meeting. In November, in Rome, after seemingly comfortably leading 3-2 against North Macedonia, they allowed their opponents to respond twice. However, they regrouped and ultimately won 5-2.
There have been six matches since the 2006 World Cup. Only once, in 2018 in a friendly match, did the "yellow-blue" secure a draw, losing all the other encounters. Nevertheless, "Squadra Azzurra" has stronger individual players, and their overall performance under Spalletti has been quite good. Let's bet on the victory of the nominal away team.
Prediction for the match: Italy to win.