Preview: Ukraine vs France – prediction, team news, lineups
The top two teams in Group D qualifying for the 2022 World Cup prepare for battle in Kiev on Saturday night, when Ukraine host France at NSK Olimpiyskiy on matchday five for both nations.
Oleksandr Petrakov’s resident draw specialists played a thrilling 2-2 draw with Kazakhstan last time out, while France could only get one point from their clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Taking over his first game for Ukraine since Andriy Shevchenko’s departure after Euro 2020, substitute coach Petrakov saw his reign begin with a goal in two minutes, as new Benfica player Roman Yaremchuk drew his first blood. in the first gates against Kazakhstan on Wednesday.
Ruslan Valiullin would equalize the scores with 16 minutes left to play, and while Danylo Sikan appeared to propel Ukraine to victory in the third minute of overtime, Valiullin’s heroics saw him salvage a point for his nation with seconds to spare.
Undefeated but winless in World Cup qualification, Ukraine’s tally of four draws and four points from four matches is enough to see them take second place in the group with an identical tally of five goals scored and conceded, but that long-sought victory still eludes. them.
While a second-place finish would be enough to keep their hopes of qualifying alive for 2022, Ukraine, the 25th nation in the world, has now failed to beat every team in the group, a worrying statistic with victories expected over Kazakhstan and Bosnia. -Herzegovina going through them.
Since their appearance in the quarterfinals in 2006, Ukraine has failed to qualify for the World Cup final as an independent nation, and after a bit of luck on their way to the knockout stages of Euro 2020, Petrakov has a lot to do with it. I work to establish Zbirna as the force. once they were.
Hit with numerous absences before the first ball was kicked against Bosnia, Didier Deschamps’ France tried to get back on track after their disappointing Euro 2020 display, but it didn’t turn out that way for the reigning world champions.
Inter Milan’s new player, Edin Dzeko, scored the first goal in the 36th minute before Antoine Griezmann responded quickly before the break, and after watching the final 40 minutes with 10 men due to Jules Kounde’s rash challenge at Sead Kolasinac, France was forced to shake hands. at a point.
Deschamps insisted that he “has no regrets” for the way he positioned his team after the stalemate at the Stade de la Meinau, and that result has at least helped them establish a four-point lead at the top of the standings, which means they can’t be caught no matter what happens this weekend.
However, Wednesday’s draw with Bosnia means France are now four games without a win in any competition, but since 2013 Les Bleus has not had a five-game winless streak, during which they were unable to score a single goal in that bad. . predestined period.
Griezmann and Serhiy Sydorchuk got it right when France and Ukraine drew 1-1 in the standings in March, but Les Bleus previously thrashed their opponents 7-1 in October 2020 friendly and have only lost one of their 11 meetings to it. weekend hosts.
Ukraine possible starting lineup:
Pyatov; Mykolenko, Matvienko, Zabarnyi; Karavaev, Shaparenko, Sydorchuk, Sobol; Yarmolenko, Malinovskiy; Yaremchuk
France possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Dubois, Varane, Kimpembe, Digne; Pogba, Rabiot; Coman, Griezmann, Lemar; Benzema