Euro 2016 qualifiers: Ukraine still hopeful of second as they host Spain
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 12, 2015
Ukraine’s hopes of gaining the second automatic Euro 2016 Group C qualifying spot are looking slim, as Coral’s odds of 5/1 to achieve that feat suggest.
The Eastern European nation sit level on points with Slovakia ahead of the duo’s final matches of the campaign, but are behind on head-to-heads and face by far the tougher task on the last day.
Yellow-Blue host European Championship title holders and confirmed pool winners Spain, while Slovakia are away to minnows Luxembourg, who have managed just four points from their nine games so far.
Understandably, La Roja are the 31/20 favourites to win their ninth match of the campaign and stay undefeated from their four meetings with Ukraine, who are 21/10 shouts.
A draw is also that same 21/10 price, and is very possible given that Spain have already qualified as group winners and Yellow-Blue will no doubt give it their all. They shared the spoils 2-2 in their first ever head-to-head too, back in 2003, so take more tempting odds of 16/1 for that same scoreline once more.
Luckily for the hosts, Spain will be without winning goalscorer last time out Alvaro Morata and David Silva, who picked up injuries in the previous clash with Luxembourg. Other stars such as Sergio Ramos, Daniel Carvajal, Andres Iniesta and Diego Costa were not called up for fitness and form reasons.
Debuts could even be handed to defenders Mario Gaspar and Xabier Etxeita, as Vicente del Bosque hopes to try out new blood ahead of the France finals.
Ukraine, therefore, will hope to look to their leading marksman this campaign Andriy Yarmolenko. The Dynamo Kiev forward is 7/4 to strike anytime here.
Yarmolenko’s clubmate Artem Kravets and Sevilla winger Yevhen Konoplyanka have also been amongst the goals in Group C, and are respective 15/8 and 2/1 shouts.
For Del Bosque’s boys, meanwhile, Paco Alcacer has the most strikes in this pool with five, and is 5/4 in the anytime market. The likes of Premier League stars Pedro Rodriguez (2/1), Juan Mata (9/4), Santi Cazorla (10/3) and Cesc Fabregas (5/1) are all also ones to watch.
Ukraine duo Yevhen Khacheridi and Sergey Sydorchuk are both suspended for this match, so will have to watch nervously from the sidelines.
Corals top tip: Hosts Ukraine must better Slovakia’s result aginst Luxembourg to qualify automatically for Euro 2016, so are 21/10 to take all three points.