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EURO 2024 Group E – Slovakia vs Ukraine

After a poor performance against Romania on Monday, the Ukrainians have a chance to redeem themselves at EURO 2024. The Ukrainians have everything to play for in their match against Slovakia next Friday.

Monday’s match against Romania produced a shocking result. Many football pundits, pundits and fans predicted that Ukraine would get past the Romanians. What followed, however, was very different. While Ukraine retained possession for most of the match, they failed to convert that statistic into something meaningful. They were punished for not being able to convert their chances, and the Romanians were more lethal in front of goal. This ultimately resulted in the shocking 3-0 victory for Romania.

Now Ukraine’s participation in this tournament depends on the match against Slovakia. Should the Ukrainians win, it would build confidence against Belgium on matchday 3. A win could put Ukraine in a position to potentially progress from Group E. However, if it did not win, Ukraine would disappear from the competition. Such a result would be disappointing.

Meanwhile, Slovakia are in a good position ahead of this match. A win against Ukraine would likely mean the Slovaks will progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

Monday’s result for Slovakia came as a surprise to many football spectators. During this match, Belgium retained most of the ball possession during the match against Slovakia. The Belgians also completed more passes and had more shots on target. Two goals were even disallowed by the video assistant referee (better known as VAR). Despite this dominant performance, it was Slovakia that took the lead with a 1-0 victory.

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Slovakia knows that Belgium will want to redeem themselves in the match against Romania. Belgium is predicted to win that match. Should that be the case, Slovakia will hope a win over Ukraine will secure a place in the knockout stages. This would be seen as a major achievement for the Slovaks.

In short, there is a lot to happen for both teams on matchday 2. How will they do on Friday, June 21?

Team news:

  • Ukrainian manager Serhiy Rebrov will be hoping for better luck in this match as he leads Ukraine in his first international competition as a coach.
  • Vitaliy Mykolenko, who was injured and unavailable for Ukraine’s match against Romania, has started training. But as of June 19, he remains doubtful for this match.
  • This will be Ukraine’s first match against Slovakia since the Euro 2016 qualifiers in 2014/2015. Ukraine lost once and drew the other match in these two encounters.
  • Francesco Calzona will lead the Slovak national team in its first major European match. While helping Slovakia to EURO 2024, the Italian was also manager of Italian club Napoli in 2024.
  • Slovakia has a fully fit squad for this match.
  • Like Czechoslovakia, the country won the European Championships in 1976. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in January 1993, independent Slovakia only participated in EURO 2016 and EURO 2020.

Ukraine’s predicted starting eleven against Slovakia:

  • Lunin
  • Konoplya
  • Zabarnyi
  • Matviyenko
  • Zinchenko
  • Tsygankov
  • Sudakov
  • Brazhko
  • Mudryk
  • Yaremchuk
  • Dovbyk

Slovakia’s predicted starting eleven against Ukraine:

  • Dubravka
  • Pekarik
  • Vavro
  • Skriniar
  • Hanko
  • Kucka
  • Lobotka
  • Duda
  • Schranz
  • Boženik
  • Haraslin

Mark Temnycky is one recognized freelance journalist on Eurasian affairs and a non-resident guy at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. It can be found at X @MTemnycky

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Kiev Post.

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