Portugal is hosting Ukraine in round 1 of Euro Cup qualifications.
Portugal is playing in good form at the moment and Ronaldo is back in the team for this cycle to lead current European Champions. Portugal is ranked 6thin FIFA standings and with some young stars like Jota, Felix, Neves and Bernardo Silva in combination with Ronaldo, Moutinho and Pepe, Portugal is once again one of the best teams in Europe. In last year’s World Cup, Portugal did good in group stage and advanced with 5 points but then got knocked out by Uruguay in the game they completely dominated but lost 2-1. At the moment Portugal is on a 6-game streak without a loss and in their last game against Poland they had 51% ball possession but got outplayed in every other aspect of the game. Portugal has good playing style with steady defense and offense that is capable to score a goal to any team in the world thanks to Ronaldo who is one of the best players in history of the game. In this qualifications Portugal is in group with Luxemburg, Serbia, Ukraine and Lithuania and are first favorites to win this group and qualify for Euro Cup. Coach Santos has really good team at his disposal and all of his players are healthy and I’m expecting strongest line up.
Ukraine is a pretty good team coached by Shevchenko who was one of the best Ukrainian players of all time. Shevchenko was hired in July of 2016 and since then Ukraine has improved a lot and lost only 5 games from then. Ukraine’s best players are Konoplyanka and Zinchenko who is playing in good form in Manchester City. In their last game against Turkey, Ukraine was better team with 54% ball possession and 5 shots on goal. In last year’s Nations League, Ukraine was in group with Slovakia and Czech Republic and have won their group with 3 wins and 1 loss and 9 points. Ukraine is getting better and more competitive with every game and Shevchenko is doing great job in preparing and motivating his players for each match. Ukraine has a very slim shot in winning this qualification group and will be fighting with Serbia for second place in group.
Head to head these two teams haven’t met yet and because Portugal is better team here with better players and are playing at home, I’m giving them the edge to start this cycle with a win.