Our prediction for this Euro 2024 match:
Ukraine will look to recover from a 2-1 loss to Italy when they take on North Macedonia in a highly-anticipated Group C derby. The Ukrainians have a chance to climb to top two in the standings, but Saturday’s clash will be anything but a walk in the park for the home side. Taras Stepanenko misses out through suspension, but there are no fresh injury worries in the home team.
The Macedonians, on the other hand, faced no difficulties in a 2-0 win over Malta, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Ukraine. Even though the match will be played on a neutral location (epet Arena), we are tempted to put our money on Ukraine, who are a more experienced side than North Macedonia. Defender Jovan Manev misses out through suspension for the visiting side due to the accumulation of yellow cards.
Highlighted Player (Andriy Yarmolenko):
Arguably the most exciting Ukrainian player at the moment, Andriy Yarmolenko is the 26-year-old forward, who can play wide as a winger and fill in numerous positions in attack. Over the past few years there has been a gathering feeling that the player has outgrown the Ukrainian League and that with the player surpassing the 200-game mark for Dynamo Kyiv Yarmolenko should be heading west to Europe’s brighter stage.
Wanted and scouted by Spanish giants Barcelona, Yarmolenko attracted interest from many other clubs, predominantly from the Premier League, and was even close to joining Everton in summer 2016, but the Goodison outfit’s offer came too late to the Ukrainian club.
Talented forward is a free-scoring machine who has already scored more than 115 goals for the club he spent his entire career with. The two-footed winger is equally adept through the middle and is a versatile force that would be a good addition to any self-respecting European side.
Yarmolenko made hi Ukraine debut in 2009 and has so far been capped 63 times, during which he scored 26 goals for the national set-up.
Highlighted Team (North Macedonia):
Former Yugoslavian republic North Macedonia became member of both FIFA and UEFA in 1994 and they have been competing on the international stage ever since. The Crveni Risovi rolled over Slovenia (4-1) in their first ever official match and the team recorded their biggest win on November 9, 11996, with the team crushing minnows Liechtenstein 11-1 in Eschen-Mauren.
The North Macedonians have yet to qualify for the finals of a major tournament despite the fact that several high-profile footballers played for the former Yugoslav republic. Goran Pandev is undisputedly the team’s most notable player as he played for the likes of Lazion, Inter, Napoli and Galatasaray during his professional career.
Pandev scored his 28th and 29th goal for North Macedonia in a 3-0 win over Belarus in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. However, Goce Seldloski is the most capped player (100). North Macedonia welcome their rivals at Philip II Arena and they wear red shirts with yellow stripe and red shorts when playing at home ground. The colour of their away kits is white.