Wednesday 10 Oct

Italy vs Ukraine - Match Preview

09 Oct 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: Int. Friendly Games
INTERNATIONAL: Int. Friendly Games

Italy

  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

vs

Kick-off
18:45 GMT
10 October 2018

Ukraine

  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
18:45 GMT 10 October 2018

The international break returns this week and one of the opening fixtures sees Ukraine make the trip across Europe to face Italy in Genoa. Both sides have Nations League fixtures next week so the intensity in this one might be significantly lower.

STATS

  • Italy are the only team to have played twice in their Nations League group but after drawing with Poland and losing to Portugal, it looks as though they are facing relegation from the group. They haven’t won any of their last four internationals which, paired with the failure to reach the World Cup, is very disappointing. Their last two home internationals finished 1-1 (against Poland and Netherlands).
  • Ukraine couldn’t have started their Nations League campaign any better with two wins from two against Czech Republic then Slovakia. They’re unbeaten in their last seven internationals which will provide confidence heading into the clashes with Italy and Czech Republic. Their form away from home is very good with three wins from their last four away visits.
  • Italy’s only goal so far in the Nations League came from the penalty spot and it was Jorginho who made no mistake from 12 yards.
  • Ukraine have scored three in their two competitive fixtures and those goals have come from Andriy Yarmolenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

HEAD TO HEAD

Ukraine won’t want to look at their record against Italy in the seven previous meetings between the two nations. Italy have won six and drawn one of those games with a 2-0 victory in the most recent match thanks to goals from Guiseppe Rossi and Alessandro Matri. The two nations met three times in 2006 with one fixture in the World Cup, one friendly and one in European Championship qualifying, Ukraine’s only draw came in the friendly.

ITALY NEWS

Kevin Lasagna is the big addition to the Italy squad for the two matches while there’s no place for Mario Balotelli even with Simone Zaza’s injury. Sebastian Giovinco also returns for the Azzurri. It’s important that they get a confidence-boosting win ahead of the game next week.

Latest matches: Italy

10.09.2018 UEFA Portugal Italy 1:0 L
07.09.2018 UEFA Italy Poland 1:1 D
04.06.2018 Int. Italy Netherlands 1:1 D
01.06.2018 Int. France Italy 3:1 L
28.05.2018 Int. Italy Saudi Arabia 2:1 W

UKRAINE NEWS

There are no shocks in the Ukraine squad with their biggest names all being announced by Andriy Shevchenko. With six points in the bag already, two wins over the next 10 days would be brilliant.

Latest matches: Ukraine

09.09.2018 UEFA Ukraine Slovakia 1:0 W
06.09.2018 UEFA Czech Republic Ukraine 1:2 W
03.06.2018 Int. Ukraine Albania 4:1 W
31.05.2018 Int. Morocco Ukraine 0:0 D
27.03.2018 Int. Japan Ukraine 1:2 W

SUMMARY

With home advantage, it’s hard to see past an Italy win on Wednesday night but with their recent struggles and Ukraine’s good international form, it won’t be plain sailing. Backing Italy to win seems a relatively safe but backing both teams to score looks even better with Ukraine’s decent record in front of goal.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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