Thursday, June 1, 2023

Prediction: England vs Ukraine

Verdict: England win & Under 4.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to claim back-to-back Group C victories when they return to Wembley on Sunday evening, England will welcome Ukraine to the capital.


Starting with the hosts, while England might have come under more scrutiny over the winter as they had to settle for a World Cup quarter-final ticket, Gareth Southgate’s side showed no signs of a hangover earlier in the week. Eventually claiming what was a fiery 2-1 victory away at reigning European champions Italy, the Three Lions certainly got their Group C campaign off to a flying start in Naples. While Sunday’s hosts might have endured a rather public Nations League nightmare last year as they lose their top-tier status, Southgate will be desperate for his side to lay down another qualifying marker here. Tipped as a standout contender to breeze their way to next year’s European Championships, Southgate’s side should be boosted by a rather rampant qualifying record on home soil. In fact, England have won each of their last 10 straight qualifying battles in front of their own supporters – a run that has seen them bag an astonishing 38 strikes.

Team News

Becoming England’s all-time leading goalscorer earlier in the week after finding the net in the Three Lions’ 2-1 victory out in Naples, attacking talisman Harry Kane will spearhead Southgate’s charge on Sunday evening. Kalvin Phillips will be hoping to keep his spot alongside Declan Rice.

However, shown a pair of bookings in the space of 54 seconds in midweek, Manchester United defender Luke Shaw will miss out here. Either Ben Chilwell or Kieran Trippier will fill in at left-back.


As for the visitors, while Ukraine might have been left heartbroken in Cardiff last year as they failed to book a famous World Cup ticket, interim boss Rusian Rotan has seen his side gain a string of plaudits. Looking to mount a real Group C charge, it is worth noting that Sunday’s guests have lost just a pair of their last 20 straight appearances across all competitions. While Ukraine might be desperate to spring a major upset at Wembley, the Yellows should be worried by a rather downbeat qualifying record while on foreign soil. Mustering just a trio of victories from any of their last eight qualifying showdowns on the road, it should also be noted that Rotan’s squad have also shown some extended issues against their Group C rivals. Blown away thanks to a 4-0 drumming when they last met England in the European Championships quarter-finals back in July 2021, Ukraine have won just one of their eight meetings against the Three Lions.

Team News

While Mykhailo Mudryk might still be waiting to open his Premier League account since arriving at Chelsea back in January, the ex-Shakhtar ace will feature here. Likewise, Oleksandr Zinchenko will earn his 53rd cap after joining up with Ukraine’s squad earlier in the week.

Although Club Brugge striker Roman Yaremchuk has only bagged two domestic strikes this season, the 27-year-old could lead Ukraine’s attack on Sunday night.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last met in the European Championships quarter-finals back in July 2021, England secured a thumping 4-0 romp.
    • The Three Lions have lost just one of their eight meetings against Sunday’s guests.
    • Likewise, England have shipped just a pair of strikes in any of those eight meetings.
    • Southgate’s side have won each of their last 10 straight qualifying matchups on home soil – a run that has seen them bag 38 strikes.
    • Ukraine have claimed just three wins from their last eight qualifying appearances on foreign soil.


    Opening their qualifying adventure with an eye-catching 2-1 victory away at Italy earlier in the week, England will be desperate to lay down another Group C marker on Sunday evening. Although Southgate’s side might have come under more scrutiny over the winter, the Three Lions are rightfully tipped as a standout pick here. Making their first appearance at Wembley since opening 2021, the European heavyweights should also be excited by a rampant record against this weekend’s guests. Storming their way to a 4-0 victory when they met Ukraine in the European Championship quarter-finals 19 months ago, we are expecting another rather routine win for England here.

    Verdict: England win & Under 4.5 goals

    Best Odds: 4/6

    Bookmaker: Unibet


    Tom Dunstan

    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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