Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
There will be fireworks when Ukraine and Portugal face each other in Kiev in the Group B derby. Top position in the standings is at stake and, no doubt, an entertaining clash is on the cards. Ukraine have been producing splendid performances in the Euro 2020 qualifiers to date and as a result, they are five points clear of Portugal ahead of Monday’s football match.
Seeing that the hosts would be happy with one point from the game, we predict that they are going to adopt a defence-minded approach in the Group B derby. Anyhow, a close encounter is on the horizon and we predict that the two teams are going to share the spoils at NSK Olimpijs’kyj. A man to watch in the home team will be Premier League Andriy Yarmolenko, whereas Ukraine defenders should have Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo at bay.
Highlighted Player (Taras Stepanenko):
Taras Stepanenko is a defensive midfielder who plays for Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League. Stepanenko was born on 8 August, 1989 and he played for the likes of Torpedo-Kosmos, Arsenal Kharkiv, Torpedo Zaporizhia and Kosmos Zaporizhia during his youth career.
After making 16 appearances (scoring 1 goal) for Metalurh Zaporizhia, he made his senior debut on 4 March, 2007 at the age of 17. Stepanenko played 81 league games for the club between 2007 and 2010 and then he made probably the best decision of his career, joining big-spending club Shakhtar Donetsk. He signed a five-year contract with the Miners on 11 May, 2010 and he has been playing for the Ukrainian giants ever since.
Stepanenko made his 33rd appearance for the Ukrainian national team at the 2016 European Championship finals in France. The Shakhtar Donetsk footballer made his Ukraine debut on 17 November, 2010 in a 2-2 draw with Switzerland. He is capable of playing as both defensive and a central midfielder.
Highlighted Team (Portugal):
Portugal started competing at the biggest stage in the 1930’s, but they had to wait for almost seventy years to establish themselves as a top side. The third place finish at the 1966 World Cup was a one-off result as the Selecao needed another 40 years to get past the group stage, reaching the semi-finals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Portugal enjoyed more success on the continent, finishing third at the 1984, 2000 and 2012 European Championships, while losing in the final to Greece at the Euro 2004 that was held on home soil. Despite being able to count on one of world’s best ever footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, the Selecao have yet to lift a major trophy and they will not have too many opportunities to do so before the Real Madrid superstar retires.
Eusebio remains the most famous footballer to have played for Portugal, while Luis Figo, Simao Sabrosa, Pedro Pauleta, Rui Costa and Nani are also worth mention. The Selecao currently boast an impressive pool of world-class talent and it should not be long before they end the trophy drought.