15 October 2019
The two likeliest candidates to progress to next summer’s tournament from Group B go head-to-head in the 2020 European Championship qualifying (ECQ) as Ukraine host Portugal to the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv.
After being held to a 0-0 away draw to Portugal in the Group B curtain-raiser, the hosts have racked up a five-game winning run in the qualifying to secure a top spot in this group. A 2-1 away triumph over Luxembourg aside, the Ukrainians have beaten their rivals to nil in each of their last four ECQ wins, netting 2+ match goals three times in the process. Ukraine’s last home defeat dates back to October 2017 (2-0 to Croatia), with the Main Team subsequently winning six of eight home matches, friendlies included (W6, D2). Notably, five of those victories have seen Ukraine win to nil, while more than half of these wins (3) ended with the identical 1-0 scoreline.
The visitors have, meanwhile, put together three ECQ triumphs ahead of this trip, winning each of those matches by at least a two-goal margin. As a result, the reigning European champions are unbeaten in all 13 post-World Cup outings, friendlies included (W8, D5). Impressively, six of those victories have seen Portugal score at least three goals while just three witnessed them keep a blank sheet. Also, three of Portugal’s four trips in all competitions since returning from Russia have seen them score 3+ match goals and concede at least one (W3, D1). But, ‘A Seleção das Quinas’ have endured mixed fortunes in their last three competitive H2Hs with Ukraine (W1, D1, L1), with two of those meetings featuring under 1.5 goals.
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