Ukraine v Italy is the big game of the day in the European qualifiers, and the match in Leverkusen could mark another dazzle failure in a very strange era for this footballing powerhouse. The sky-blue team missed two consecutive World Cups, won a European one in between, and is now threatened with either not qualifying or play-off for Euro 2024.
The two teams enter the battle with an equal asset of 13 points each, but because of their 2:1 victory at home, the Italians are ahead. That is, Ukraine only needs a win, and even a draw leaves the “squad” in second place. The England team qualified first and for a long time.
Whoever loses today goes to the play-off and is not eliminated. But the playoffs are a nightmare the Italians don’t want to remember. This is how they dropped out of the 2018 World Cup (from Sweden) and the 2022 World Cup (from North Macedonia).
They would hardly want to be uncertain about Euro 2024 as they welcome Christmas…
The match is difficult to predict because the Ukrainians are an unpredictable team with class, but above all, great spirit and motivation. The military actions in the country pushed the team away from the homeland and it hosts all over Europe.
Leverkusen is the next destination, and history shows that in order to qualify for Europe tonight, the team in yellow and blue must do something that has not been seen before. Ukraine has no victory over Italy in their nine meetings so far – 7 successes for the Azzurri and two draws.
Forecast: Goals in both goals, as happened in their game in September at the San Siro. Then the score was 2:1 in the 41st minute. Italy won’t shut down and play for 0-0 because Spalletti doesn’t understand football that way, and the lessons of caution against the Swedes and North Macedonians that led to the spectacular failures of recent years have been learned. Ukraine has no choice and will look for goals and victory.
TV program for Monday in our country:
21:45 Ireland – Denmark on Diema sport
21:45 North Macedonia – England on Diema sport 2
21:45 Ukraine – Italy on Diema sport 3
21:45 Slovenia – Kazakhstan on Nova sport.