Our prediction for this match:
Despite finishing their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign in second place in Group F Slovakia eventually failed to make it to the play-offs. The Slovaks were more than unfortunate not to book their place in the play-offs, but life goes on, and they are now fully focused on the qualifiers for EURO 2020. Jan Kozak is still in charge of the team and his men are definitely capable of making life difficult for Ukraine in Friday’s football match at Arena L’viv. The Ukrainians failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals as well, with the team suffering a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to Croatia in their last group game and, no doubt, the hosts are low on confidence ahead of the visit of Slovakia. A man to watch in the home team will be Borussia Dortmund ace Andriy Yarmolenko, but we predict that the two teams are going to play out a draw in Friday’s friendly.
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 (Slovakia):
Slovakia only appeared on the international stage in 1993 as Czechoslovakia fell apart, and the new national team have yet to record a result worth mention. Repre have only qualified for two major tournaments so far, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2016, but the current generation definitely seem capable of improving the team’s profile in years to come. Slovakia currently have quite a few players plying their trade in some of Europe’s top sides, with Marek Hamsik, Martin Skrtel and Juraj Kucka clearly the leaders of the national team at the moment, but they do struggle in some areas and are not exactly world beaters just yet. Under Vladimir Weiss and Jan Kozak, Slovakia have become a tough not to crack, relying on rock-solid back line and swift counter-attacks, and they even gave Spain a tough time during the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Miroslav Karhan and Robert Vittek are the most capped player and top goalscorer respectively, with Robert Vittek another player worth the mention.