MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 14:16:39| >> :600:1655506:1655506:
Mar 31, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Arena L'viv
UkraineUkraine
1-1
KazakhstanKazakhstan
Yaremchuk (20')
Zinchenko (89'), Marlos (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Muzhikov (59')
Alip (6'), Abiken (36'), Muzhikov (43'), Vorogovskiy (62'), Karimov (70'), Pokatilov (90+1')

Preview: Ukraine vs. Kazakhstan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Ukraine and Kazakhstan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ukraine will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing draw with Finland last weekend when they host Kazakhstan in their third World Cup 2022 qualifier on Wednesday.

Both sides have played against Group D leaders and current world champions France this month, with Andriy Shevchenko's men securing an impressive point, while Kazakhstan were beaten on home soil last Sunday.


Match preview

Ukraine's Junior Moraes celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 28, 2021© Reuters

After earning an impressive point away in France last week, Ukraine were unable to follow that up with a victory as they could only draw 1-1 at home to Finland on Sunday.

The match, held at the NSC Olimpiyskiy, was goalless until the 80th minute when Brazilian-born substitute Junior Moraes tapped in from close range to give the hosts the lead.

However, a mistake from Vitaliy Mykolenko saw the defender drag down Finland's Teemu Pukki inside the penalty area and he was sent off as a result. The Norwich City striker converted his 89th-minute spot kick to earn the Scandinavian outfit a point.

Manager Andriy Shevchenko would have viewed that fixture against Finland as a good opportunity to claim three points, but a draw for the second successive game saw them miss the chance to join France at the top of Group D.

Ukraine have won all four of their previous meetings with Kazakhstan, although their last encounter was back in 2009, with Serhiy Nazarenko scoring a brace in a 2-1 victory.

Shevchenko's side will kick themselves if they fail to win against a nation ranked 98 places below them in the FIFA standings.

France's Lucas Digne in action with Kazakhstan's Marat Bystrov on March 28, 2021© Reuters

Kazakhstan's opening World Cup qualifier ended in defeat as they lost 2-0 at home to current holders France on Sunday.

A strike from Ousmane Dembele and an own goal from Serhiy Malyi earned the visitors a comfortable victory, extending the host's 14-game winless run in World Cup qualifiers.

Head coach Talgat Baysufinov will be aware that his team are the weakest in Group D, but with their most difficult fixture now out of the way, he will be hoping that his side can cause more problems against Ukraine on Wednesday.

Kazakhstan's last two international victories came away from home, albeit against San Marino and Lithuania, but they now come up against a Ukrainian outfit who have beaten Spain and Switzerland in their last two home matches prior to their draw with Finland.

The chances of Kazakhstan claiming any points in midweek are slim, but as long as they can put up a fight as they did against France, then Baysufinov may be able to take away some positives from the game.

Ukraine World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • D
  • D

Ukraine form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D

Kazakhstan World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L

Kazakhstan form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L


Team News

Ukraine head coach Andriy Shevchenko pictured on November 11, 2020© Reuters

Ukraine duo Ihor Kharatin and Viktor Korniienko remain unavailable for selection after testing positive for coronavirus, while Taras Stepanenko, Artem Besedin and Viktor Tsygankov are all ruled out with injuries.

Left-back Mykolenko will also miss Wednesday's match as he is suspended, following his dismissal against Finland.

Ukraine switched from a flat back five against France to a three-man defence against Finland, with Oleksandr Karavayev and Eduard Sobol operating as wing-backs. Shevchenko is expected to stick with the same system against Kazakhstan.

Experienced goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, who is just four appearances away from earning his 100th international cap, has sat on the bench for the first two World Cup qualifiers, with Heorhiy Bushchan starting ahead of him. The 36-year-old is expected to miss out once again in midweek.

Kazakhstan forward Artur Shushenachev was hoping to make his international debut this month, however an injury has forced him to withdraw from the squad.

Striker Ramazan Karimov, who was able to make his international debut when he came off the bench against France, could be in line to start up front alongside Maxim Fedin.

CSKA Moscow midfielder Baktiyar Zaynutdinov, who has scored seven times in 16 international appearances, has missed the last two games with a knee injury but could be in contention to play on Wednesday, although he is unlikely to start the match.

Ukraine possible starting lineup:
Bushchan; Zabarnyi, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko; Karavaev, Kovalenko, Zinchenko, Sobol; Malinovskiy; Moraes, Yaremchuk

Kazakhstan possible starting lineup:
Mokin; Bystrov, Erlanov, Malyi, Alip, Valiullin; Muzhikov, Tagybergen; Nurgaliyev; Karimov, Fedin


SM words green background

We say: Ukraine 2-0 Kazakhstan


Ukraine have scored two or more goals in all of their previous four meetings against a Kazakhstan side who have conceded in five of their last seven international matches.

The hosts will be strong favourites for Wednesday's encounter and we can see them securing their first victory in Group D.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting that at least one team will not score (BTTS - no) in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.BTTS No:data


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