Andrew Todos’ Ukraine v North Macedonia preview: expect Ukraine to play on the front foot
Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Ukraine throughout Euro 2020
With North Macedonia a weaker opponent than the Dutch, Ukraine will be looking to control possession more and address their own defensive frailties that were exploited in Matchday 1.
After getting Ukraine’s second goal against Netherlands, Roman Yaremchuk will be hoping to add to his tally and score in a third straight international match. Goal number 10 for Ukraine is in his sights. Furthermore, his contribution in creating chances for his teammates, through layoffs, backheels and runs in behind were pronounced in Matchday 1. He should offer more of the same in Thursday’s fixture.
Shevchenko’s men will be aiming to play ‘on the front foot’ against their Balkan opponents after their counter attacking style versus the Dutch. Expect greater attempts at playing it through the middle after Ukraine’s midfield was neutralised in Amsterdam. Zbirna will be desperate to get an opener early on, to avoid intensity and tempo saturation as the game goes on.
Oleksandr Zubkov is likely to miss Thursday’s game after coming off in the first 10 minutes against Netherlands, but there are no other prevalent injury concerns.
Ukraine are on the joint worst ever run in Euro history with Yugoslavia (6 straight defeats) so they’ll be looking to avoid making ‘history’ by grabbing at least a 2-0 win.