A month ago, Spain routinely beat Ukraine 4-0 in Madrid. Sergio Ramos scored twice, Ansu Fati broke records, and Ferran Torres also scored. As things stand now, at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev in the fourth round of the A League of Nations, something similar could happen again.
Despite the fact that Ukraine is the favorite, there have not been many positive things in the host camp lately. Except for the tests on Covid-19, which pretty much decimated the Ukrainians during the current representative cycle.
The yellow-blues have the most difficulties in the position of the goalkeeper (Andriy Pyatov and his namesake Lunin are in self-isolation), which was clearly seen in the 2: 1 defeat by Germany. The Panzers used the gift of the third goalkeeper Bushchan, and Fury is a selection that will also punish every mistake.
The Ukrainians against Germany improved their impression after the defeats by Spain and France (friendly match) with 11 goals conceded, but since Andrey Shevchenko sat on the bench, the national team does not remember such bad days.
He has never tied three defeats as a coach, so this is practically the last chance for the Ukrainians to return to the fight for the first place in group 4. However, the Red Fury is a big favorite in this match, although they did not shine against Switzerland (1: 0), but they fulfilled the main goal, which is to win points.
Luis Enrique's team is in first place in the group and holds the strings in their hands. Spain will not rush, but will patiently wait for their chance to reach the desired result. Spain is undefeated in the previous 13 games (10 wins), and during the last 14 matches, Enrique has rotated as many as 52 players, that is, he has never repeated an identical starting lineup in consecutive games.
"We will enter the match as we have done on previous occasions. We will try to be better than the rival both offensively and defensively. We want to win and secure first place in the group. We recorded a good result last time against Ukraine, but I expect a different match.
", explained the selector of Spain
The home team will miss Manchester City football player Aleksandar Zinchenko (Covid-19), while the scorer of the only goal against Germany, Ruslan Malinovsky, will miss the duel due to cards.
"We will have to play more compactly and aggressively as a team. There will be a lot of envy from the physical fitness of my guys. I have a few ideas on how to compensate for Malinowski's absence. Spain is one of the best selections.
They have a great organization and individuals, "Shevchenko said. Ukraine has never beaten Spain. The Red Fury celebrated in five of the six matches, including the one from a little over a month ago, when it was 4-0 in Madrid.
As hosts, the Ukrainians were able to torture Fury. Thus, in 2003, in the qualifications for the European Championship, it was 2: 2 in Kyiv, while in 2015, it was also 0: 1 in the qualifications for the European Championship in the capital of Ukraine. We believe in a new celebration of Spain, but not in an overly attractive match.