Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Switzerland were on the verge of beating Spain in their last group game, but La Roja eventually saved one point thanks to Gerardo Moreno’s late goal. Switzerland are stuck at the bottom of the table ahead of the decider, but regardless of the outcome, the Rossocrociati will compete in League B next season as Ukraine have better head to head record.
Anyhow, Switzerland’s pride will be at stake in Tuesday’s clash, and we predict that the hosts are going to take this game seriously. Borussia M’gladbach defender Nico Elvedi misses the game through suspension. Despite suffering a 3-1 loss to Germany in their last group game, Ukraine managed to avoid relegation to League B, and, as a result, boss Andriy Shevchenko is going to mix the squad against Switzerland. Since the hosts want this win more than the visitors, we are tempted to put our money on Vladimir Petkovic’s men.
Highlighted Player (Xherdan Shaqiri):
Another impressive player who emigrated to Switzerland, Xherdan Shaqiri is a midfielder with excellent technical qualities, very strong in taking players on and creating chances for his teammates, while also being a danger from set pieces. The Serbian-born footballer formed an excellent midfielder pairing with Granit Xhaka at FC Basel, before making a high-profile move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012.
Shaqiri went on to prove a great deal of potential at Allianz Arena, scoring 11 goals in 52 Bundesliga matches, but he decided to leave in search of first team football, first joining Inter Milan and then moving to Stoke City. It was at Britannia Stadium that the attacking midfielder rediscovered his form and if he continues playing at such a high level, it won’t be long before he returns to the biggest stage.
Even when he was not playing regularly at club level, Shaqiri would always reserve his best performances for the national team, as witnessed by 17 goals in first 50 caps. The midfielder was especially impressive at the 2014 World Cup finals, where he scored no fewer than three goals.
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.