Ace Football previews the UEFA Nations League match between Germany and Ukraine, and offers betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.
Germany and Ukraine will square off on Saturday night for what could prove to be a decisive match in their respective Nations League campaigns.
Both teams head to Leipzig level on six points each from four games in Group A4, with leaders Spain a point above. And with only one qualification spot to the finals available, victory at the Red Bull Arena is a must. Anything less, even a shared point, could end their hopes unless Spain fail to beat Switzerland.
Germany took home the spoils in the last meeting between the two sides in October by emerging 2-1 winners in Kyiv.
After five positive COVID-19 tests in the Ukraine camp, however, there is a possibility local authorities in Leipzig may call off the match if the visitors return more positive tests on Saturday afternoon.
Germany Form & Stats
Joachim Low will recall several rested players after his side’s 1-0 midweek friendly win over the Czech Republic. Timo Werner, Toni Kroos, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, and Matthias Ginter should return. Niklas Sule, meanwhile, has linked-up with the national team after recovering from COVID-19.
The Germany boss also declared in his pre-match conference that ‘you can assume’ Werner, Gnabry, and Sane will start against Ukraine in a potential three-man attack. The only doubt is Julian Brandt, who has a muscle issue.
Despite keeping a clean sheet against the Czech Republic, however, Germany have struggled defensively. They’ve conceded in six of their last seven games, seeing 10 goals fall into the back of their net.
Although the four-time world champions are unbeaten in the Nations League (W1 D3) and two wins will secure passage into the finals, with Low adamant they intend to win the competition for the first time.
Key Team Stats
- Unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions (W6 D5).
- BTTS in six of their last seven games in all competitions.
- Scored at least one goal in their last 19 games in all competitions.
- Never won a home game in the Nations League (P4 D4).
Ukraine Form & Stats
A series of positive COVID-19 tests, meanwhile, hit Ukraine badly last month. It left the squad down to its bare bones, leaving them vulnerable in their defeat to Germany. But they still collected an impressive 1-0 win over Spain last time out to revive hopes of qualifying for the Nations League finals.
Although the Ukraine Football Association reported on Friday that players Andriy Yarmolenko, Serhiy Sydorchuk, Viktor Kovalenko, and Viktor Tsyhankov tested positive for COVID-19. Staff member Vadym Komardin is also in isolation.
Losing Yarmolenko, in particular, would have been a hard blow for Ukraine. The West Ham star may have failed to score in his last four games, but he’s been a prolific presence down the years with 38 goals in 92 outings.
Andriy Shevchenko’s side will undergo final health checks on Saturday afternoon before the game. Should there be no further positive cases, Leipzig officials will probably allow the match to go ahead as planned.
Key Team Stats
- Winless in their seven games against Germany in all competitions (D3 L4).
- Lost four of their last six games in all competitions (W2).
- Conceded at least one goal in six of their last seven games in all competitions.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Bernd Leno, Kevin Trapp.
Defenders: Antonio Rudiger, Robin Koch, Matthias Ginter, Jonathan Tah, Benjamin Hendricks, Felix Uduokhai, Niklas Stark, Phillip Max, Niklas Sule.
Midfielders: Toni Kroos, Florian Neuhaus, Leon Goretzka, Mahmoud Dahoud, Julian Brandt, Nadiem Amiri, Leroy Sane.
Forwards: Timo Werner, Luca Waldschmidt, Serge Gnabry.
Goalkeepers: Andriy Pyatov, Andriy Lunin Yuriy Riznyk
Defenders: Mykola Matviyenko, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Eduard Sobol, Bohdan Mykhaylichenko, Illya Zabarnyi, Yukhym Konoplya, Yevhen Cheberko, Valeriy Bondar
Midfielders: Taras Stepanenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Serhiy Sydorchuk, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Viktor Kovalenko, Viktor Tsyhankov, Marlos, Yevhenii Makarenko, Oleksandr Zubkov, Ihor Kharatin
Forwards: Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk, Junior Moraes
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
|30/04/1997||Germany vs Ukraine||2-0||World Cup Qualifier|
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|10/11/2001||Ukraine vs Germany||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|14/11/2001||Germany vs Ukraine||4-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|11/11/2011||Ukraine vs Germany||3-3||Friendly|
|12/06/2016||Germany vs Ukraine||2-0||Euro 2016|
|10/10/2020||Ukraine vs Germany||1-2||Nations League|