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Ukraine vs. Serbia - 6/7/19 Euro Cup Qualifications Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Serbia at Ukraine
Date & Time Friday June 7, 2019, 2:45 PM (EDT)
Location
Arena Lviv
Lviv, Ukraine
The Line
Ukraine +162, Serbia +200, Over 2.5 (+160), Under 2.5 (-211)
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Euro Cup Qualifications

Ukraine is hosting Serbia in a round 3 of Euro Cup qualifications.

Ukraine is a great team with a combination of youth and experience and ever since Andriy Shevchenko was signed as a coach back in July of 2017., Ukraine keeps getting better. Yarmolenko, Zinchenko, Moraes, Tsygankov, and Konoplyanka are Ukraine’s best players and are all expected to be in the starting lineup for this match. Ukraine is in a group B with Portugal, Serbia, Luxembourg, and Lithuania and will compete with Serbia and Portugal for the top two spots that are leading to Euro Cup next year. In their last game against Luxembourg, Ukraine was solid with 63% of ball possession, 3 shots on goal, 10 corner kicks and 86% of correct passes and was able to win 1-2. Ukraine has lost only 1 of their last 13 games which only show the good form they are in and with most of their players healthy and ready to play, Ukraine is a favorite in this match. Ukraine is ranked as a 27th national team in FIFA standings and will only climb higher because Ukraine is getting better with each game. Three years ago, Ukrainian soccer association has decided to make a sharp turn in the other direction and started with more investments in their youth players development and by hiring Shevchenko who is probably the best Ukrainian player in history, they have gotten a coach with skill and knowledge to bring this team to another level. Progress is obvious.

Serbia is a really good team that was in a similar situation as Ukraine a few years ago and decided to do the same thing. Led by Dusan Tadic, Milinkovic-Savic, Kolarov and Luka Jovic who just signed with Real Madrid for a massive 70 million Euros, Serbia has the potential to be offensive firepower. In their last game against Portugal, Serbia was dominated and had only 31% of ball possession, 3 shots on goal and low 68% of correct passes, but Serbian defense has stepped up and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Serbia is playing decent soccer as of late and hasn’t lost any of their last 8 games with 13 scored goals and only 6 conceded goals. Serbia’s chances of qualifying for Euro Cup are pretty good and Ukraine is their main competitor for that to happen. Coach Krstajic was hired to be the head coach in January of 2018., and this was his first coaching job ever but he has the knowledge and Serbia are improving slowly and safely. Serbian team is well balanced and even though the offense is their strongest part, their midfield and defense are not far behind. Expectations in Serbia are high and if they don’t get qualified Krstajic will probably get fired and Serbia will go into soft rebuild mode to get rid of some older players like Kolarov, Rukavina, and Tadic.

Ukraine and Serbia played 4 times dating back to 2005., with Ukraine winning all 4 of those games. Both Ukraine and Serbia are playing in great form and have no injuries problems and for that reason, I’m expecting an exciting, hard game with most plays focused in the midfield. Because I think this will be a tough game for both teams, I will take a stab at a draw.

Pick:
Draw (+187)

Being from Croatia I was raised with soccer all around me and I loved to watch and play soccer ever since i was little kid, especially after Croatia won third place in 1998 World Cup in France. I watch and follow soccer on a daily basis and to get the oppurtunity to write about it is amazing. 

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