A Bale-less Wales football team travel to Ukraine for their second friendly match on 28th March 2016. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 18:00 GMT at the NSK Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kiev.
Ukraine started their preparations for European Championships with 1-0 win over Cyprus on Friday. Despite winning the match, the Yellow and Blues failed to live up to the expectation. Taras Stepanenko scored the only goal of the match in the 40th minute, in a rather wasteful day for Ukrainians.
At the same time, Wales needed an 89th minute penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland. With Gareth Bale rested and Aaron Ramsey injured, this will be a perfect opportunities for Chris Coleman to test a number of fringe players against a strong opposition.
- Ukraine are on a two match unbeaten run and just lost once in their last 10 matches.
- Their last 6 matches witnessed under 2.5 goals and scored at least a goal in their last five matches.
- They have won 4 and lost 1 in their last 5 home matches and won their last two home matches keeping a clean sheet.
- Wales are now without a win in two matches and have just one win in their last five matches.
- Their last away match was a 2-0 loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina, but were unbeaten in 4 matches before that, with 3 wins, 1 draw.
Ukraine: Team News
Ukraine head-coach Mykhaylo Fomenko is unlikely to make any drastic changed to the team he started against Cyprus few days ago. Yevhen Konoplyanka is still out with a muscle injury and in his absence limelight will be on Andriy Yarmolenko.
Taras Stepanenko, who scored the only goal against Cyprus could once against start in center of midfield alongside Denys Garmash. While Shakhtar goal keeper Andriy Pyatov could start ahead of Denis Boyko.
Ukraine Expected Starting Line-up (4-4-2)
Pyatov – Kucher, Shevchuk, Fedetskiy, Putivtsev – Stepanenko, Garmash, Yarmolenko, Husyev – Zozulya, Rotan.
Wales: Team News
Chris Coleman used a 4-5-1 formation against Northern Ireland and it would be interesting to see if he stick with it here. Changes are hardly expected in the starting line-up after missing key players like Bale and Ramsey.
Wales Expected Starting Line-up (4-5-1)
Hennessey – Matthews, Ashley Williams, Chester, Gunter – Ledley, Vaughan – George Williams, Lawrence, Cotterill – Vokes.
Ukraine vs Wales: Head-to-Head Stats
Wales and Ukraine have met only twice and both the matches end in 1-1 draw. And this will be their first meeting since 2001.
Ukraine vs Wales: Prediction
Wales haven’t done much in their recent fixtures and are on a poor run of form and this could be worse without Ramsey and Bale. On the other side Ukraine are a strong side at home and have lost only lost once in their last 5 matches.
The problems for Wales lies in creating and concerting goal scoring chances, while Ukraine are largely wasteful despite creating enough chances. This could be an interesting clash as both coaches demand improvement from their players and we can expect that both teams will take nothing less a win here.