Ukraine vs Iceland
European Qualifiers – 2018 World Cup
Date: Monday; 5-September-2016
Kick-off: 19:45 UK
Venue: Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex, Kiev.
Andriy Shevchenko is set to make his competitive debut as the head-coach of Ukraine national football team when they host for the World Cup qualifying opener on Monday evening.
Ukraine were the first team to eliminate from the group stages of the Euro 2016. The poor showing at the competition in France has brought an end to Mykhaylo Fomenko’s tenure as head-coach and he has been now replaced by their all-time leading goal scorer Andriy Shevchenko. His main task will be to take the team to the World Cups in Russia. Their only appearance at the World Cup in five attempts was at the 2006 edition in Germany.
Iceland’s fairytale run at the Euros is still fresh in the memories of many football fans. They qualified to the knock-outs with an unbeaten record from a group which contained Portugal, Hungary and Austria before eliminating England in the round of 16. Their run was put to an end by France in the quarter finals. Drawn into a moderate group alongside Croatia, Finland, Kosovo, Turkey and Ukraine, they will fancy their chances to earn their first World Cup competition.
Ukraine vs Iceland: Head-to-Head
The previous meeting between Iceland and Ukraine was in the Euro 2000 qualifying tournament. Ukraine defeated Iceland in the away leg 1-0 after drawing 1-1 in the home leg. This will the first time these teams are meeting since September 1999.
Ukraine vs Iceland: Prediction
Ukraine can boast of a strong home record as they have won in 5 of the last 6 matches. They also kept three consecutive clean sheets at their home soil. The failure at the Euros cannot be taken lightly, but in all reality there is plenty of talent in this young squad.
Iceland’s record while playing away from home is nothing to write about. They are left with only 2 wins from their last 9 away games, while they lost 7 during the period. Therefore a combining of form analysis and head-to-head record is pointing towards a narrow win for Ukraine.
Despite their goal drought at the Euros, Ukraine have score in each of their previous 6 games. With Iceland also scoring in each of their last 8 away games, there is a higher chance for this game to see both teams scoring. This could automatically result in 3 or more goals at the end of 90 minutes.
Ukraine vs Iceland: Betting Tips
Ukraine to win at 3/4 (1.75)
Both Teams to Score at 21/20 (2.05)
Over 2.5 goals at 5/4 (2.25).