Mark Temnycky –
Ukraine vs Austria – Monday, 21 June 2021 – 17:00 GMT/18:00 CEST – Arena Naţională, Bucharest, Romania
Ukraine will face Austria on the final day in Group C. The game will be played in Bucharest on Monday, 21 June.
The objective is simple for Ukraine. Earn a result in this match, and they will move onto the competition’s knockout stages for the first time in their history. Should they lose, they will be eliminated from the competition in the group stages for the third time in their history.
The Ukrainians have shown that they have character. Recent victories against Portugal, Switzerland, and Spain should help inspire confidence in this young side. The fact that they nearly stole a point in their match against the Netherlands should also be encouraging.
Ukraine cannot be complacent, however, in what will be a crucial match. Andriy Yarmolenko and Taras Stepanenko will not need to be reminded of Ukraine’s capitulation against France during the second-round qualification play-offs for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Having been paired with France, Ukraine won the first match 2-0. Ukraine needed to avoid a defeat in the second leg, but nerves got the better of the Ukrainians as France won the second leg 3-0. Ukraine will hope that they do not make a similar mistake in the match against Austria.
Like Ukraine, Austria will also hope to make their own history in this competition. This is Austria’s third appearance at the European Championships, but they have failed to advance out of the group stage. Prior to their victory against North Macedonia, Das Team had also never won a match at the EUROs. Hence, the Austrians are making progress in this competition.
Having worked hard in this competition, Austria know that the knockout stages are nearly within their grasp. They will need to defeat a difficult Ukrainian side, however, as a draw may not be enough to advance to the Round of 16. Given recent results in the other EURO group stage matches, Austria will need to push for a victory in this match.
Overall, Austria has the experience to try and win against Ukraine. The objective is simple, and to state the obvious, should they fail to score, they will not achieve their objective. Therefore, the pressure is on for this Austrian side. How will these teams fare on Matchday 3 in Group C?
Ukraine vs Austria – Players to Watch:
Andriy Yarmolenko #7 – Ukraine (West Ham United)
Andriy Yarmolenko is currently in form. The Ukrainian captain has scored four goals in his last three appearances for Ukraine, most notably his curling effort against the Netherlands on Matchday 1 in Group C. He will hope to continue this form in front of goal as his side prepare for their match against Austria. Yarmolenko knows that Ukraine only need a draw to advance to the competition’s knockout stages, and he will look to keep his team composed in this match.
David Alaba #8 – Austria (Real Madrid)
All eyes will be on Austria’s captain as they head into this crucial fixture. David Alaba knows that if his Austrian side fail to beat Ukraine on Matchday 3, they will likely be eliminated from the 2020 European Championships. This pressure should be nothing new to Alaba. Having won numerous titles with Bayern München, the Austrian defender has been through every scenario. He will look to inspire confidence in his team as they prepare for this important match.
Ukraine vs Austria – Match Statistics:
- This will be the first competitive match against Ukraine and Austria. The Zbirna previously faced Das Team in two international friendlies, where the Ukrainians won once and lost once.
- The winner of this match will finish as the runners-up in Group C.
- Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zubkov picked up an injury in the match against the Netherlands, and he is in doubt for this match.
- Austria’s Marko Arnautović was recently suspended following the remarks he made against the North Macedonian national team.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Ukraine vs Austria – 2-2
Ukraine vs Austria – Possible Lineups:
Bushchan – Karavayev, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko – Malinovskyi, Stepanenko, Zinchenko – Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Tsygankov
Manager: Andriy Shevchenko
Bachmann – Dragović, Alaba, Hinteregger – Lainer, Laimer, Schlager, Sabitzer, Ulmer – Kalajdžić, Baumgartner
Manager: Franco Foda
Mark Temnycky is an AIPS accredited freelance journalist who covers the Ukrainian men’s national team and Ukrainian clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for the Futbolgrad Network. Mark will be covering Ukraine for Futbolgrad during the 2020 European Championships. Follow him @MTemnycky