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Ukraine vs Belgium, UEFA Euro 2024, Today Match Prediction

MHP Arena, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg

Can Ukraine Upset Belgium's Perfect First-Time Record?

  • Belgium are unbeaten in their last 22 matches while facing a side for the first time.
  • Belgium have six of their last seven games in the group stage of the European Championship
  • Ukraine have either not scored a goal or scored excatly two goals in UEFA Euro championships

Belgium to Win (0-3)

Tournament: UEFA Euro 2024 | Venue: MHP Arena, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg

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Ukraine were on the verge of going out at Euro 2024 when Schranz netted that early goal in the 17th minute of the game. They were trailing at halftime. After suffering a setback in the opening game and facing elimination, Serhiy Rebrov's team rallied brilliantly, scoring goals from Shaparenko and Yaremchuk to secure important points that allowed them to remain in the competition. 

Nevertheless, because of goal difference, they find itself at the bottom of the points table. The equation is simple for Ukraine: beat the Belgians on Wednesday, and they could even finish at the top of the table if they better Romania's result. But that is easier said than done.

Having looked out of sorts in their opening clash against Slovakia, the Red Devils bounced back with a thumping win over Romania due to goals from Manchester City superstar Kevin De Bruyne and a 73-second goal from Youri Tielemans. Ranked 3rd in the latest FIFA rankings, Belgium will fancy their chances of making it into the round of 16 with a win over 24th-ranked Ukraine. If they win and Slovakia loses or draws their final game, they will secure the top spot at the points table.

Ukraine Preview

Even though Ukraine won despite going a goal down, Serhiy Rebrov's men will have to thank Romania for their lackluster performance during the 2nd half of the game for the victory. It's highly unlikely that a Belgium side will sit back and let Ukraine dictate the game, as Romania did. Their biggest cause of worry will be the defence, as it conceded the most goals in the group, resulting in them being at the bottom of the points table. On average, they have conceded 1.8 goals per game in the past two years.

Ukraine is unlikely to get many chances to score, as one expects Belgium to dominate possession. However, if and when they get a chance, they will have to score. All eyes will be on the match-winner Yaremchuk, who came in as a substitute and netted the winner against Romania. He has now been involved in 5 goals in his last seven appearances (three goals and two assists). Four of these goal contributions came from him coming on as a substitute. During this period, the winger has averaged a goal or assist in every 53 minutes. If Ukraine were to progress from the group stage, Yaremchuk would have played a crucial role in this achievement.

Though there are no injury concerns for Ukraine, Yaremchuk and right-back Yukhym Konoplya are a card away from suspension in a potential round-of-16 clash. However, it's unlikely that Yaremchuk will start over the favored Artem Dovbyk.

Ukraine Probable Starting XI: Turning(Goalkeeper) ; Tymchyk, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko (Defenders) ; Sudakov, Zinchenko, Shaparenko(Midfielders) ; Yarmolenko , Dovbyk, Mudryk ( Forwards) 


UKR Over/Under Betting Tips

Ukraine Ball Possession over 45.5% 1.85

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Ukraine averages 58% possession per game in the tournament, matching Belgium's average so far. In this encounter, Ukraine will likely aim for more control of the ball, and we back them to hold possession over 45.5%.

Belgium Preview

Belgium struggled to score goals and create chances against a dogged defence of Slovakia in the tournament's opener, but Tedesco's team was quick to rectify this, securing an assured win over Romania, a team that employed a similar defensive strategy as the Slovakians. So what changed for Tedesco's men?

Often criticised for missing out on big chances and being a wanderer on the pitch, Romelu Lukaku was in top form against the Romanians in the Red Devils' win. And it made all the difference. His presence in the Romanian box, dragging their centre-backs out of position, helped the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Doku break down the Romanian defense. If he can maintain this form, Belgium is going to be hard to beat in this tournament.

Come Wednesday, once again, all eyes will be on the Belgium forward line. De Bruyne, who has contributed to 31 goals for Belgium in 32 games (12 goals and 19 assists), has three goals to his name. Meanwhile, his fellow teammate from Manchester City has completed the most number of successful dribbles (9) in this competition. 

Belgium Probable Starting XI: Casteels (Goalkeeper) ; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate (Defenders) ; Tielemans, Onana,  De Bruyne (Midfielders) ; Doku, Trossard/Bakayoko, Lukaku( Forwards) 


Over/Under Goals Total Tips

Over 2.5 1.87

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Belgium averages 2 goals per game in 2024, while Ukraine, in a must-win situation, will be looking for goal-scoring opportunities. This could be a high-scoring game with a total of over 2.5 goals expected.

The Red Devils are massive favourites for this Group E clash against the Ukrainians. This is the first meeting between the teams, and Belgium has a perfect record since they faced an opponent for the first time in the last 22 games. However, Ukraine has only lost once in 11 games when they face an opponent for the first time. 

That said, Ukraine will have a tough time dealing with Belgium's forward line. In the past two years, Belgium has scored 35 goals at an average of 2.2 per game. Up against a vulnerable defense, we expect Belgium to rack up more goals against Ukraine. 

Ukraine, on the other hand, can't simply defend all night, as they will probably need a win to qualify. But, considering how Romania exposed their weaknesses in defense by scoring three goals in the opening game, the question remains: can Ukraine take the risk of exposing their back line at the cost of conceding goals, or will they settle for a draw as they can still progress to the Round-of-16 as one of the third-best teams from the group stages?

Nevertheless, Belgium are expected to dominate this game. Considering their prolific scoring record, we expect a scoreline of 3-0 in favor of Belgium.

Belgium to Win (0-3)

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Author: Neev Chopra