Ukraine vs Italy Preview
The UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying stage is approaching its end, with the final matches of the group stage set to be played this week. Among these matches, the most exciting one has to be the encounter between Ukraine and Italy on Monday, September 20.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Blue and Yellows are forced to play on neutral territory despite being the nominal hosts. The match in Leverkusen, Germany, will start at 8:45 pm local time.
We will discuss this further in our Ukraine vs Italy prediction but this game will decide who qualifies for the UEFA Euro 2024 together with Group C winners England.
Ukraine currently sit third in Group C with 13 points, tied with Italy but with a worse head-to-head record as they lost to them 2-1 on the road back in September. This means that Serhiy Rebrov’s men need the full three points on Monday in order to earn automatic qualification to the UEFA Euro 2024.
The Ukranians are approaching the match against Italy with a record of three wins, one draw and one loss in the last three months. Their most recent match was an unofficial friendly against Polish club Lechia Gdansk on November 16.
In case of failure, Ukraine still stands a chance at qualifying for the tournament via play-offs but that, of course, will be a tough task.
Following their victory against North Macedonia on November 17, Italy need at least a point on Monday to ensure UEFA Euro 2024 qualification. They are also guaranteed a play-off spot in case of failure but they could not qualify for FIFA 2022 World Cup in a similar scenario.
As we will discuss further in our Ukraine vs Italy tips, the nominal hosts are no pushovers and the Azzurri will have to be cautious in their approach, so even a draw will not come easy.
Since the appointment of Luciano Spalletti in August, the defending European champions have recorded three wins, one draw and one loss. And their most recent outing is the aforementioned 5-2 win over North Macedonia on November 17.
Besides playing away, Italy are also coming after an intense match in Rome with less time to recover, which we will make sure to take into account in our Ukraine vs Italy odds.
Ukraine vs Italy odds
Betting Tips Ukraine vs Italy
Both teams to score? Yes
Since the arrival of Luciano Spalletti, Italy’s results have certainly been positive. However, the new manager has encountered defensive problems which he is yet to address. In the last three months, the Azzurri have conceded seven goals in five matches, keeping a single clean sheet – at home against minnows Malta.
Facing a highly-motivated Ukraine on Monday, we again expect the Italians to concede. At the same time, the visitors have enough talent up front to score as well. The likes of Federico Chiesa and Giacomo Raspadori are in top form at the moment, having scored against North Macedonia last week.
Ukraine's defence isn't much better either, as they have kept two clean sheets in the last five matches, conceding a total of four goals. Thus, both teams scoring seems very plausible, and Bet365 gives 1.80 odds on it happening.
Over 2.5 goals
Building up on the previous part of our Ukraine vs Italy prediction, we expect over three goals in Leverkusen. Bet365’s odds on over 2.5 goals stand at 1.95.
As mentioned, Italy are not the most defensively secure team under Spalletti. Under his command, the Azzurri have scored 13 and conceded seven goals, which is exactly four goals per game. The only game in which there were under three goals was the early 1-1 draw with North Macedonia.
Rebrov’s men are more conservative on the field – scoring nine and conceding four in the meantime – but they will be desperate for the full points on Monday. With the likes of Mikhailo Mudryk, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Viktor Tsyhankov on their squad, Ukraine has more than one way of troubling Gianluigi Donnarumma. Since it is a must-win for Ukraine, the game will open up on both ends of the pitch, so we are sure to see plenty of scoring chances.
Over 9 corners
And plenty of scoring chances should also bring about plenty of corner kicks. The odds on over nine corners on Bet365 stand at an attractive 2.50.
Italy, despite being okay with a draw, are unlikely to park the bus on Monday simply because it goes against the style that Spalletti has been trying to implement. Instead, the Azzurri will most certainly aim to control the ball and look for an opening in Ukraine’s backline from time to time.
Rebrov’s men may have been okay with a more defensive approach back in September, but now, with one win separating the team from UEFA Euro 2024 qualification, we should see an all-attack game plan.
With Ukraine attempting to score from every chance available and Italy expected to get enough free space up ahead for quick, vertical runs forward, a high number of corner kicks reads very likely. There were six corners in the previous head-to-head game but that is because Ukraine played ultra-defensively that day.
Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Ukraine vs Italy tips are suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement in the end.