Ukraine’s hopes of reaching Euro 2024 have come down to their final two matches. Next month they take on Italy in what looks like being a straight shootout for second place behind England, but first, they must get past Malta on Tuesday night. Below I preview the match and pick out a couple of betting selections.
Malta are still without Notts County forward Jodi Jones who had to withdraw from the current squad through injury, and missed County’s 4-1 defeat to Mansfield Town at the weekend. The rest of their first XI had a tiring run out in their 4-0 defeat to Italy, but came through it unscathed.
Meanwhile Ukraine beat North Macedonia 2-0 and Serhiy Rebrov was able to take off the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Mykhailo Mudryk before the 90 minutes was up. Those key players will be fit and firing for another must-win clash for Ukraine.
Ukraine to win with -1 handicap @ 5/6
This should be an easy win for the away side, and we can make some smart picks based on this fact. Ukraine have a side packed full of quality and held England to a 1-1 draw earlier in the qualification campaign.
Ukraine are currently on ten points, level pegging with Italy, but given the Italians will face England away on Tuesday night, there’s a good chance Ukraine could be three points clear by the end of the international break. Italy still have one game in hand, but second spot is likely to be decided by that winner takes all clash in November, especially considering the determining factor is head to head results, rather than goal difference.
Ukraine to win to nil @ 4/5
Ukraine kept a clean sheet against North Macedonia last time out, while the reverse fixture between these two teams finished 1-0. The major reason for this selection however is the fact that Malta have only managed to score one goal in this qualification group so far, while conceding 15 in the process. This match should play out like all of their other encounters, and Ukraine can secure a comfortable victory.
Malta are 12/1 to win this match, while Ukraine are heavy favourites at 1/4. A draw can be backed at 9/2.