Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Ukraine and Slovakia have met six times before with Ukraine winning twice and Slovakia once. In their last match it was Ukraine who triumphed, winning 2:1. For Ukraine this will be their second qualifying match in the League of nations while Slovakia played a friendly against Denmark a few days ago. Neither team were contestant in the World Cup, so their players should be rested but ready to compete. Ukraine have been in good form lately, winning five and drawing two out of the last five games and allowing only two losses in their last 10 games, to Iceland and Croatia. Slovakia have recorded five wins in their last 10 games but also four defeats, including the one against Morocco in the run-up to Russia, which was the last game they played. It will be a tight match, but Ukraine has got enough to win this match at the L’viv Arena.
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 (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.