BEAT THE DROP:
THE UKRAINIAN FOOTBALL ROUND UP:
The Penultimate week of the season is upon us!
After the results of Gameweek 30 in midweek, there’s still a fair bit to play for despite the top 3 having secured their medals.
Tuesday’s action concluded with Vorskla taking the ascendancy in the Best of the Rest trophy race, as they beat Desna 1-0 away, knowing it is now there’s to lose being 3 points ahead with two games to go! Quite a turnaround from the side who have been awful since the turn of the year. Desna’s debut season seemingly ending on a sourer note as their form begins to drop just at the wrong time.
Chornomorets were up against the tide as it was ahead of these fixtures, but even after beating Karpaty 3-1, found themselves unable to mathematically move beyond the relegation play off spots. Karpaty, on the other hand, have it all to play for in their next game against direct league rivals Olimpik. Lviv are still 3 points from avoiding the play off ties and it looks like form and time is running low for them.
Arsenal Kyiv all but lost out on their own automatic survival hopes as they drew with Olimpik in a 1-1 score draw. If they drop off further, they may even risk being overtaken by Chornomorets and end up being automatically relegated…
An interesting couple of fixtures awaits for all in the bottom half of the table!
In the Championship Group, it was an extremely underwhelming set of performances that saw no sides record a victory. Three draws ensued as FC Lviv held Zorya in a goalless draw, Shakhtar played out a 1-1 with Dynamo whilst Mariupol versus Oleksandriya ended in the same scoreline.
Shakhtar celebrated by lifting their already secured title with Dynamo 11 points off the pace. Whilst the biggest headline was Oleksandriya finally securing their first ever UPL bronze medal finish and ensuring that they will play in the Europa League Group Stages next season! Congratulations!
A correct result (WIN / DRAW/ DEFEAT) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns an extra 40 points.
Desna Chernihiv v Arsenal Kyiv
Todos’ prediction:Both sides have a lot to play for going into this game. Arsenal need to maintain the distance between Chornomorets and at least ensure that they have a relegation play off to survive over the automatic drop.
Desna have been overtaken by Vorskla and will be wanting to at least give themselves a fighting chance of finishing top; but they know it is out of their hands. Both sides enter this game not in the most optimal of winning form and as a result, a draw seems the most likely outcome. 1-1
Karpaty Lviv v Olimpik Donetsk
Todos’ prediction: This is a massive game for both sides. Karpaty must win in order to ensure even a slight chance of avoiding the play off places. Their yoyo results throughout the season, unable to string consecutive victories together have been their undoing. They seem to be seriously missing any sort of identity and without a central focal point to the team, in the form of a talismanic player, they make up what is a largely average side without much coherency.
Olimpik on the other hand have been playing relatively well since the split and if anything deserve to edge Karpaty in the league as it stands. Dieye has been pivotal to the side who really lacked goals for much of the season. Now he has turned it on, they look to have secured the spine of the side. This being said it could end either way as neither of these sides guarantee stability in the form of footballing performances once they’re actually on the pitch. Olimpik won this one, 3-2 last time and it’s expected they will condemn Karpaty to the play offs with a win today.
Vorskla Poltava v Chornomorets Odesa
Todos’ prediction:The bottom half of the table trophy is Vorskla’s to lose now. The last time they won it, two seasons ago; the next season they finished third. So they could do with another good omen this time around. They have been on the rise in recent weeks, rediscovering their famed defensive stability under manager Kosovsky. However, as has been a problem all season, goals have been coming at a premium.
Chornomorets have not been sparing in the goals department, as they saw off Karpaty 3-1 and know their best tactic is to outscore the opposition. This is going to be a tight game, with Chornomorets knowing they still have a faint chance of avoiding the automatic relegation spot as long as they get the win. Unfortunately as their defence is far from as solid as that of their opponents, another score draw is how this one will end; condemning the Sailors to life in Persha Liha next season.
Dynamo Kyiv v FC Lviv
Todos’ prediction: Both sides have nothing to play for. A non event but a win expected for the home side as they debut their new kit. Tsyhankov out so the goals burden will fall upon recently back from injury forward Biesedin.1-0
Shakhtar Donetsk v Mariupol
Todos’ prediction:Mariupol need to win this to continue their fight for fourth place but as is tradition in the UPL, Shakhtar always find a way to win this one. The youngsters and fringe players will want to impress again. Tete, Kayode and Solomon to turn up and neutralize any sort of Mariupol hopes of victory.
Zorya Luhansk v Oleksandriya
Todos’ prediction:Zorya should walk this one with Oleksandriya’s recent securing of third place. Zorya need this victory a lot more than their opponents do and it really seems to be a non brainer. 2-0
MATCHDAY 31 FINAL SCORE: TBC
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