Our prediction for this match:
Saudi Arabia will be aiming to make amends for a heavy 4-1 loss to Iran when they take on Ukraine at Estadio Municipal de Marbella. The Arabians did remarkably well to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 2006 and, no doubt, they are brimming with confidence ahead of Friday's football match against Ukraine. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, were beaten by Croatia in the play-offs and, a as a result, they will not take part in the upcoming showpiece tournament in Russia. Anyhow, Andriy Shevchenko's men are seen as hot favourites to win this friendly game and we predict that they are going to prove their worth on the field. Andriy Yarmolenko, who found the net in a 2-1 win over Slovakia in November, will be the man to watch in the away team and he is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders.
Highlighted Player (Oleksiy Shevchenko):
Oleksiy Shevchenko is a Ukrainian goalkeeper who was born in Dnipropetrovsk on February 24, 1992. The 188-cm tall shot-stopper played for his home-town club Inter Dnipropetrovsk during his youth career and he started his senior career at Metalurh Zaporizhya. Oleksiy Shevchenko made 13 appearances for Metalurh 2, while playing no more than 13 games for the first team. In 2013 he moved to Dynamo Kyiv, but he was immediately sent on loan to Hoverla Uzhhorod. The Ukrainian goalkeeper played for the likes of Olimpik Donetsk, Torpedo Kutaisi and Dila Gori on loan as well before signing a contract with Zorya Luhansk in 2016. Shevchenko made his debut for Zorya in the Ukrainian Premier League on April 10, 2016 in a 2-1 loss to Dnipro. He quickly established himself as a first-team regular at Zorya and he did well to keep ten clean sheets in 25 appearances for Zorya in the 2016/2017 Ukrainian Premier League campaign. Shevchenko received his first call-up for the Ukraine national football team in October 2016 for 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Turkey and Kosovo.
Highlighted Team (Ukraine):
After the country had gained independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine played their first international match in 1992, and they have come a long way since. Zbirna have only once played at the World Cup finals so far, and they did really well to reach the quarter-finals in 2006, while they co-hosted the Euro 2012 with Poland, albeit failing to get past the group stage. The generation that secured qualification for the Euro 2016 finals in France is arguably the most talented ever, with Yevhen Konoplyanka, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ruslan Rotan and Roman Zozulya the leading players, but plenty more talent present in Mikhail Fomenko’s squad. Similar to the trademark style of former Soviet teams, Ukraine bases their tactics on rock-solid defence and swift counter-attacks, but it has to be noted that Zbirna possess a lot more technical skills and attacking potential than most other former Russian republics. Everything suggests that the most successful period in the history of the national team is ahead of them.