Spain will hope for a repeat of their last dominant win against Ukraine as they look to stay clear at the top of the Group A4 of the UEFA Nations League.
Kiev Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
Key Stat: Spain are unbeaten in their last 15 matches in all competitions.
Expert Verdict: Spain put four past Ukraine when they last met and with the hosts suffering a number of withdrawals from their squad, Spain could go for a repeat result. They are clear at the top of the group with seven points and this should make it three wins from four games so far.
Though Ukraine have been able to add some proper back-up to stand-in goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan, they remain light in all departments following a number of drop-outs. Goalkeeping coach Oleksandr Shovkovskiy, 45, was on the bench for the defeat to France, eight years after winning the last of 92 caps, which typified the issues Ukraine were facing. Ruslan Malinovskyi’s yellow card last time out adds to their concerns – the winger is now suspended.
Andriy Yarmolenko – After an injury-ravaged 2019-20 season, this is a chance for the West Ham winger to catch the eye before his return to London.
Roman Yarenchuk – The only recognized, out-and-out striker in this squad, he has five goals in 16 international appearances so far.
Heorhiy Buschan – A nightmare debut against France was followed by the more respectable 2-1 defeat to Germany but the goalkeeper is set for another busy night in this one.
Since beating Switzerland 2-1 in their opening game, Ukraine have lost all three games they have played and conceded 13 goals in the process. Only two of those came last time out, but they still suffered a 2-1 loss to Germany – Ruslan Malinovskyi scoring their goal from the penalty spot.
Defenders:Eduard Sobol, Oleksandr Karavayev, Vitaliy Mykolenko, Ilya Zabarnyi, Ihor Plastun
Midfielders:Andriy Yarmolenko, Serhiy Sydorchuk, Roman Bezus, Oleksandr Zubkov
Spain could make several changes as they cope with the short turnaround between matches, with Gerard Moreno, Rodri, Rodrigo, Reguilon and Dani Ceballos all among the players on the bench last time out.
Sergio Ramos – Scored twice when these sides last met and is one of just a few of Spain’s all-conquering side still in the squad.
Mikel Oyarzabal – Led the line last time out and it was his early goal that made the match-winning difference.
Ansu Fati – The young winger scored when these teams last met to open his Spanish account, and the 17-year-old is definitely a key man for the future.
Spain are unbeaten in their last 15 matches in all competitions, taking seven points from three games in this competition so far. Since their 4-0 win against the Ukraine, they have drawn 0-0 in a friendly with Portugal and Mikel Oyarzabal’s early goal was enough to seal a 1-0 win against Switzerland last time out.
Goalkeeper:David de Gea
Defenders:Sergi Roberto, Llorente, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Reguilon
Midfielders:Dani Ceballos, Sergio Busquets, Rodri
Forwards:Rodrigo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Ansu Fati
Spain have won their last five matches against Ukraine and have never lost this fixture. Their 4-0 win last time out, in which Sergio Ramos scored twice and Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres both netted, was their second such victory in this fixture. In between those 4-0 wins – the first one being at the 2006 World Cup – they won 1-0 twice in qualifying for Euro 2016. Ukraine’s last goal against Spain was in 2003.
Spain were totally dominant when these sides last met, with their young charges making their mark and the ever-key captain Sergio Ramos scoring twice too.
Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres scored their first Spain goals in that game as the new generation start to make their mark for the Spanish.
Since that game, the Ukraine have been hit hard by withdrawals on medical grounds and have lost several key players.
They are light in all departments and Ruslan Malinovskyi’s suspension does not help matters either.
Spain were far too good for Ukraine last month and they should storm to another comprehensive win in this game as well.
There are plenty of young players looking to make their mark and Torres and Fati have already done so in this fixture once this season.
Spain are big favourites for this one and they can be backed at 2/5 to win with Bet365 and 888sport.
Ukraine could not cope with Spain last time out and they are potentially on a hiding to nothing again this time. Over 3.5 goals will return 13/10 with Betway.
Mikel Oyarzabal scored last time out and he is 13/10 to score at any time this time too, with Betway. Ansu Fati is evens with Betway after his goal when these teams last met.
Spain put four past Ukraine last time out and, with the hosts hit hard by player withdrawals, this could be a similar result.