Roman Titov
0 believes Ukraine will qualify in the first round tie against Scotland.

June 1

The first round of the tie for the right to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar between Scotland and Ukraine will take place on 1 June at 21:45. The match will take place at Hampton Park Stadium in Glasgow. The game will be refereed by Dutch referee Danny Mackelly.


Steve Clarke’s side have won 5 straight World Cup-22 qualifying games, but that didn’t help them drop out of first place as Denmark secured the spot. Ahead of their game against Ukraine in March, Clarke’s side played two friendlies against Poland (1-1) and Austria (2-2), but Russia’s “special operation” made a number of changes – Scotland were left without match practice until June. The British are fit as a fiddle: there are leaders Robertson and McTominy, McGinn has had an excellent season in the AFL, and Che Adams of Southampton will be playing in attack. The team is manned by mid-tier players with a full range of skill sets, but there is still no clear star in attack. Robertson plays his usual position of left back and only partially manages the team’s attacks.


Despite difficult conditions, Petrakov’s team managed to play as many as three friendlies and charity matches just before the tie. They beat Borussia M (2-1), Empoli (3-1), and played out a 1-1 draw with Rijeka. A permanent training ground was provided by the Slovenians, and most of the national team players had the opportunity to train. Over 18 men were out of action as a result of the war, and they were soon joined by fellow legionnaires Malinovskiy, Yaremchuk, Zinchenko and Yarmolenko. This foursome will determine the team’s play in today’s match. There is no talking about the mood, the players have repeatedly spoken about their desire to qualify for the World Cup, despite the current events in the country.

Scotland – Ukraine match forecast

The Ukrainians’ squad is much better and more experienced, with the four legionnaires, led by APL champion Zinchenko, having had a decent season. Malinovskyi set the tone for Atalanta, Yaremchuk scored for Benfica and only Yarmolenko has featured badly for West Ham United and has left the club this pre-season. Scotland have never been outstanding, and have not had a game in the national team for a long time. Even the home ground will not be a super factor – the Ukrainians are determined to make the most of it, with those who couldn’t play for the club getting plenty of practice in May. Tsygankov, Mykolenko and Zabarny, together with Stepanenko must cope with Che Adams and Robertson’s crosses.

The game will be nervous enough, with referee McKeley giving it a fight, but he will easily cool it down with a yellow card if there is any heat on the pitch. We should expect the game to open up after a quick goal, and there is a risk that it won’t, but the Ukrainians’ individual level should play its part. Yaremchuk and Zinchenko are in fine form, they can create, the more so as Zinchenko plays attacking midfielder for the national team.

Forecast: Ukraine’s passing in 2.2

Additional forecast: Total more than 2 goals for 1.65

Additional prediction 2: Total more than 3.5 yellow cards for 1.85


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