THE EUROS ARE IN SIGHT!!!
Ukraine face Lithuania tonight in the first of their October qualification double header. This evening’s must win game takes place in Kharkiv as Ukraine pushes closer to securing that spot at next summer’s Championships.
As it stands, it is all in their hands as to whether they top their group or subsequently collapse. However the latter seems highly unlikely after the campaign the side has had so far!
Lithuania travel to North Eastern Ukraine just a month since the two teams faced off in the tiny LFF stadium in Vilnius. Tonight’s venue is 8 times the size of it and with 35,000 tickets sold so far, accounting for last minute sales, it can be expected to be a sell out.
Shevchenko’s men are in optimum condition and morale. He has a fully fit squad to choose from and countless players who are on top form for their respective clubs both in Ukraine and across the continent!
Yarmolenko is now fully fit, scoring goals and putting in key performances for West Ham. Malinovskyi has helped his Atalanta side to sit 3rd in Serie A. Meanwhile Shakhtar’s contingent have won 10 consecutive games in the league & beat their latter compatriot’s side in the Champions League. So it looks rather positive & hopeful that these players can transfer these displays when playing in yellow & blue.
Shevchenko revealed that he may have a sleepless night in the lead up to these two games with a selection dilemma. He has too many players, playing well that it’s proving difficult to pick his starting side!
Regardless of this, Shevchenko does not want to be complacent. He’s unlikely to rest anyone for Monday’s fixture, rather wanting to get tonight’s result resolved as early as possible before introducing changes in the second half.
This being said, Sobol may deputise at left back to give Mykolenko some extra recovery time. Bolbat should also retain his spot at right back.
Yaremchuk is expected to lead the line, with it being uncertain as to whether Konoplyanka will return to the starting fold with his Shakhtar playing time being mostly reserved to being a substitute (albeit a regular one).
Lithuania arrive in Ukraine with a mere 100 fans but they will be made to feel welcome! However, their team is in less than a good state. They’re missing a whole host of key players, with up to 6 starters missing including their captain.
Their coach revealed that they think they can take points off of Ukraine tonight, after learning from the mistakes of last month. But he also admitted how difficult this is going to be…
As such, everyone in Ukraine and the media are expecting a solid signal of intent from the Zbirna tonight. If they win here a point will be enough from their final two games for automatic qualification!
Here’s our expected line up:
УКРАЇНО ВПЕРЕД 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦