Ukraine VS Iceland Match Prediction
There have only been two previous competitive matches between Ukraine and Iceland and both of them were during the qualifying campaign for the 2000 UEFA European Championship.
Ukraine won 1-0 in Iceland on that occasion, taking a point from their home game which ended in a 1-1 draw, but in the years since those two fixtures Icelandic football has come on leaps and bounds and they will be expecting to get a positive result from their trip to Kiev.
Iceland were one of the best teams to watch at Euro 2016 but everyone knows what to expect from them now and it is unlikely Ukraine will allow them to play to their counter-attacking strengths. Indeed, with both nations preferring to play on the break there is a chance this turns into a cautious game with neither side willing to take the lead.
There are unlikely to be a lot of goals and there is a concern it is an uninteresting match with neither team wanting to get their campaign off to a losing start.
Considering how well they played at Euro 2016 - and the results they pulled off to reach the tournament - it is a surprise to see Iceland priced up at 4/1 for this match, with Ukraine's price of 17/20 appearing to offer little value seeing as they lost all three matches at that tournament.
The draw looks to be good value at 13/5 while it could also be profitable to side with Iceland on the double chance market, with odds around the evens mark available. Under 2.5 goals also looks very likely to land and can be found at 4/6.
Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko remain the star men in the Ukraine squad, even though both players were well below their best at Euro 2016 in the summer. Manchester City youngster Alex Zinchenko is regarded as the next big thing in Ukrainian football but he could well start the game on the bench as he is still extremely raw and inexperienced.
Defenders:- Kucher, Rakitskiy, Khacheridi, Butko
Midfielders:- Konoplyanka, Stepanenko, Tymoshchuk, Kovalenko, Yarmolenko
After surprisingly reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, Iceland have a target on their backs for this World Cup qualifying campaign and they will be one of the teams to beat in Group I.
There is no surprise factor and it will likely be the same team that started throughout the tournament, with their performances in France earning players like Johann Berg Gudmundsson moves to the Premier League.
Defenders:- Saevarsson, Arnason, R Sigurdsson, Skulason
Midfielders:- Gudmundsson, G Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Bjarnason
Forwards:- Sigthorsson, Bodvarsson