23 March 2019
Portugal begin the EURO 2020 qualifying on home soil as they host Ukraine to the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon.
Although playing without their headline performer Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning European champions have enjoyed a successful UEFA Nations League campaign, finishing top of their respective group ahead of Italy and Poland. What’s more, after a World Cup exit to Uruguay, A Seleção das Quinas have racked up a six-game unbeaten run (W3, D3). However, the hosts go into their first H2H clash with Ukraine in the 21st century off the back of two consecutive draws. Fernando Santos’s team has been suffering in the final third during Ronaldo’s absence, scoring over 1.5 goals per match only twice in the post-World Cup period. During the same sequence, Portugal have failed to keep a clean sheet four times although allowing 2+ match goals just once.
On the other hand, the visitors, who have failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, have managed to overcome a disappointing period and finish top of the UEFA Nations League Group B/1 ahead of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Ukraine’s impressive run of form has seen them pick up six wins in their last 11 games (W6, D4, L1) although five of those triumphs saw them beating their rivals by a minimal one-goal margin. Still, the Main Team have failed to clinch a victory in three of four games in the build-up to this meeting (W1, D2, L1), mainly thanks to the uninspiring displays in the final third. Andriy Shevchenko’s players have scored exactly one goal per match in three games in a row before playing out a goalless draw with Turkey last time out.
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