Friday, July 12, 2024

Prediction: Romania vs Ukraine

Verdict: Both teams score

Best odds:23/25

Bookmaker: ZetBet

The first game from Group E at the Euro 2024 will be played at Allianz Arena in Munich on Monday afternoon when Romania faces Ukraine. While both teams aim to start their campaign with a win, a tough battle is expected to occur as the first game result is vital for increasing the chances of reaching the knockout phase.

Romania

Although Romania was seen as an underdog in the qualification stages while Switzerland and Israel were tipped to dominate Group I, the hosts shocked their adversaries by claiming the top spot undefeated. Despite gaining supremacy in the qualification phase, Tricolorii had the chance on their side on many occasions.

Perhaps the most impressive output by Edi Iordanescu’s team was the miraculous comeback in Luzern when Romania came back from behind to draw level (2-2) after being 2-0 down by the half-time whistle. Although Switzerland was on the front foot in the second half, creating many chances but missing the target, a late double from Valentin Mihaila earned a decisive point for Romania.

Despite a late introduction in the game of the Parma striker, Mihaila netted a double in less than 3 minutes (89 and 92) and settled the final result by frustrating the Swiss fans. Furthermore, Romania finished its qualification campaign by asserting dominance in the last two games by defeating their biggest rivals for the top spot, Israel and Switzerland. A 2-1 away win against Israel and a 1-0 home win against Switzerland positioned Romania at the top of the table by maintaining their invincibility and reaching a final tournament after an 8-year miss.

However, despite the impressive run in the qualification phase, Edi Iordanescu was left with many questions unanswered after his side failed to win any of the friendly games played after Romania booked their tickets for Germany. Although Romania lost a signed game during this time (3-2 with Colombia), missing the target on many occasions against Bulgaria (0-0) and Lichtenstein (0-0) was not the best result before facing Ukraine.

Team News

Throughout the campaign, coach Edi Iordanescu remained faithful to the players he used in the qualification phase. Although the local press questioned some of his player selections, the young manager stuck to his plan. He is expected to line up a more defensive set-up and explore the empty spaces left by Ukraine.

Ukraine

Ukraine had a difficult Euro 2024 qualification campaign that needed two play-off games to reach the final destination, Germany. Although the visitors were unlucky at the group phase draw by being seeded alongside giants England and Italy, Ukraine exceeded all expectations by testing England and Italy’s heavyweight status.

Despite winning points against The Lions and Squadra Azzura, Ukraine finished 3rd in the qualification group following a defeat against Italy that had Luciano Spalleti’s team coming second behind England. However, regardless of this heartbreak, Ukraine proved once more its fighting spirit by defeating Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland in the play-offs to reach the final tournament held in Germany.

Although Ukraine lost a pair of games through the entire qualification campaign (including friendly matches), the last tests before facing Romania were disappointing. While holding Germany to a 0-0 stalemate was a great achievement, Ukraine ended their Euro preparations on their knees after suffering a 3-1 meltdown to Poland.

It was a first-half nightmare that Ukraine manager Serhiy Rebrov will look to forget after seeing his players torn into pieces by Poland who was 3-0 at the half-hour mark. Although Girona’s sensation striker Artur Dovbyk who won La Liga’s Golden Boot, reduced the deficit by scoring before the halftime whistle, Ukraine failed to ignite a second-half comeback.

Team News

Packed with a star-studded squad, Serhiy Rebrov will despatch his best players to claim a positive start to Ukraine’s 2024 Euro debut. Familiar faces like Mudryik, Dovbyk and Zinchenko are expected to start and lead the visitors to victory. More so, with enough firepower coming from the bench, Romania will have a headache to stop Ukraine. 

Key factors to consider

  • Romania qualified for the Euro 2024 undefeated in a group with Switzerland, Israel and Kosovo
  • The host lost a single match since 2023 (3-2 against Colombia in a friendly game)
  • Tricolorii failed to score in the last two test matches before arriving in Germany (0-0 against Bulgaria and Lichtenstein)
  • Ukraine draw against Italy and England in the Euros qualification phase
  • The visitors suffered a shocking defeat in the last friendly game against Poland (3-1)

Conclusion

Romania and Ukraine aim to have a strong start in Germany and secure a win that will increase their chances of reaching the knockout phase. With both teams playing attacking football and enough quality up front, we expect Romania and Ukraine to score.

Verdict: Both teams score

Best odds:23/25

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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