Estadio RamA?n SA?nchez PizjuA?n, Seville
27 March 2015, 20.45 IST
Spain host Ukraine at the Estadio RamA?n SA?nchez PizjuA?n tonight and will look to collect three points to create a gap between themselves and their opponents as the two teams are level on points in group C in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Both the teams comfortably won their last game and with equal margins of three goals. However, Spain will be favorites when they face Ukraine as they are yet to drop points at home.
Team News and Tactics
With Diego Costa suffering an injury on Sunday, we could see Juventus striker Alvaro Morata drafted into the starting lineup against Ukraine. The 22-year old started the last game for La Furia Roja in November against Germany in a friendly that his side lost but put in a good shift. Morata has been in good form this season for Juve and has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season. Malaga forward Juanmi has been called up as a backup striker.
Manager Vicente Del Bosque went with a 4-2-3-1 formation in the last friendly game and could once again do so against Ukraine who have pace up front. In defense, we could see the quartet of Juan Bernat, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Azpilicueta. Iker Casillas could start the game as well despite his shaky club form.
Del Bosque will have a headache as he has a plethora of players to choose from for the midfield. He could go with Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas playing in midfield with Fabregas playing a more attacking role. Isco will most likely start as a wide player with Santi Cazorla playing behind Morata. Koke could play on the right side.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Bernat, Pique, Ramos, Azpilicueta; Busquets, Cazorla; Isco, Fabregas, Koke; Morata
Ukraine have lost just three of their last 25 games and could surprise the Spaniards with their pace which is one of their strengths. Andriy Yarmolenko is probably their trump card and could trouble the Spanish defense with his pace and trickery of given the ball. However, Ukraine’s biggest problem will be taking the ball from Spain who are masters of ball retention.
The Ukranian defense will most likely comprise of the quartet of Morozyuk, Vernydub, Ordets and Fedetsky. Sergiy Sydorchuk’s absence will mean that Denys Garmash will play as the holding midfielder alongside Sergiy Rybalka as the double pivot.
In attack, we could see the duo of Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko on the wings with Roman Bezus playing as the attacking midfielder. Pylyp Budkivsky is expected to start as the striker.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Pyatov; Morozyuk, Vernydub, Ordets, Fedetsky; Garmash, Rybalka; Konoplyanka, Bezus, Yarmolenko; Budkivsky
- Spain are unbeaten against Ukraine in three clashes (won :2, drawn: 1)
- Spain are unbeaten in 29 competitive games at home.
- Ukraine have won their last three Group games without conceding a goal.
- Spain have scored eight goals in their last two home games.
The Spanish side is a much younger one and an agile one, so we might not see the dominate Ukraine. At the same time, they have too much quality for the Ukrainians who have done well so far.
Full-time score: Spain 2-0 Ukraine