Ukraine vs Northern Ireland: prediction and team news / International Friendlies 2021
Ukraine will host Northern Ireland at the Dnipro-Arena on Thursday in an international friendly fixture.
Ian Baraclough’s side earned a convincing 3-0 win over Malta on Sunday, while their opponents are busy preparing for the European Championships.
The home side come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Bahrain in a friendly played in May.
Northern Ireland picked up a morale-boosting 3-0 victory against Malta in a friendly.
Ukraine will use the game as one of their two final warm-up fixtures before kicking off their Euro 2020 campaign. The Eastern Europeans have been drawn in Group C alongside North Macedonia, the Netherlands and Austria.
Ukraine vs Northern Ireland predictions:
- Northern Ireland have lost six of their last nine games.
- The hosts are unbeaten in 2021.
- Ukraine have scored once in their last four matches.
The two sides have met on five occasions in the past and Ukraine have a marginally better record.
The two countries last met five years ago in the group stage of Euro 2016, when Northern Ireland picked up a historic 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn.
The Yellow and Blue have two wins and two draws to their name, while the Northern Irish were victorious on one occasion.
Incidentally, that victory came in their most recent clash, a Group C fixture at Euro 2016 when goals from Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn gave Northern Ireland a 2-0 victory.
Their win against Malta on Sunday halted a run of seven games without a win. Ukraine are also without a win in seven games, with their last four matches ending in draws.
Ukraine will return to the Championships this summer and Thursday is the second of their three warmup games, but Northern Ireland’s hopes of competing in the tournament were crushed in an extra time defeat to Slovakia in the playoff final last year.
Ukraine have flattered to deceive since securing their Euro qualification but they still have enough difference-makers who have proven themselves on the biggest stages.
At the European Championships, Ukraine have been drawn in Group C along with the Netherlands, North Macedonia and Austria and will fancy their chances of getting to the knockout stages at a major tournament for the first time since 2006.
Northern Ireland, by contrast, have been in disarray since the highs of Euro 2016 qualification. We are predicting a narrow victory for the hosts.
Our prediction: Ukraine win @ 1.5