Scotland vs Ukraine predictions: In-form visitors can cause Hampden repeat

Jack Ogalbe
Spotlight
Oleksandr Petrakov will be hoping for more away success for Ukraine on Wednesday
Oleksandr Petrakov will be hoping for more away success for Ukraine on Wednesday

Scotland and Ukraine kick off the latest batch of Nations League fixtures on Wednesday, with the pair set to meet at Hampden Park in Group B1.

These two are familiar foes, having clashed in a one-off match in Glasgow in the World Cup qualifying play-offs.

Ukraine ran out 3-1 winners in June and after making a strong start to their Nations League campaign, taking seven points from three games, will hope for more of the same on Wednesday against a Scotland side missing their captain.

Team news

The big team news for Scotland is that skipper Andrew Robertson will miss this game, Saturday's clash with the Republic of Ireland and next Tuesday's rematch against Ukraine due to a knee injury.

Arsenal's Kieran Tierney will be able to feature on the left but it remains to be seen if Steve Clarke will switch to a flat back four or push Tierney on as a wing-back.

Ryan Fraser could also start after the Newcastle man and Clarke patched up their previous differences.

Another Arsenal player is a doubt for Ukraine, with Oleksandr Zinchenko battling a calf injury, while Fenerbahce's Mykola Shaparenko is definitely out due to a knee problem.

One to look for could be Shakhtar Donetsk's youngster Mykhaylo Mudryk. The attacker was linked with a summer move to the Premier League and after staying with Shakhtar, has scored against both RB Leipzig and Celtic in the Champions League.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has been capped 52 times for Ukraine and scored eight goals
Oleksandr Zinchenko has been capped 52 times for Ukraine and scored eight goals

The stats

Scotland have started their Nations League campaign with six points from three games, recording a pair of wins over Armenia. However, they were outclassed between those victories in losing 3-0 to the Republic of Ireland.

Clarke will be looking at this game as a key fixture in the outcome of the group and can call upon a strong home record, with his side unbeaten on their own turf since the start of the Nations League in 2018.

Ukraine have a torrid record on the road in this competition. They beat the Republic of Ireland in June but had previously lost four in a row away from home.

Those results did come at a higher level, though, resulting in their relegation from Group A4 after the 2020-21 competition.

The Blue and Yellow have shared the goals around during the current competition, with five players netting one strike each. Meanwhile, Scotland's Stuart Armstrong has scored twice.

It was a similar story in June's qualifier, with Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk and Artem Dovbyk each netting, while Callum McGregor grabbed Scotland's strike in their 3-1 defeat.

Prediction

Ukraine will arguably be sharper than when they last travelled to Hampden, with their home-based players having been in action for their clubs in recent weeks after the resumption of the Ukrainian Premier League.

That should add an extra intensity to the match against the Scots and they will be looking to use the momentum they built over the summer to record what could prove a crucial win in their bid to earn promotion back to the top tier.

Scotland's Hampden record will give the hosts confidence and they will hope to grab a goal. However, Ukraine are perhaps a cut above and another away victory with both teams scoring could prove the outcome.

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