Italy’s recent history of failing to qualify for the World Cup, despite winning the 2021 Euros, is still lurking around, and the trauma is far from gone. They stand in 2nd place in Group C, with the same number of points(13) but 6 behind England (1st), while Macedonia is in 4th place with 7 points. This is a must-win if the Italians want to ensure qualification in the easiest way possible, with a +4 goal difference compared to Ukraine. Italy secured a 2-1 victory against Ukraine in their previous encounter in September this year, and another win in their upcoming match would guarantee their qualification.

Ukraine might not be a heavyweight, but it is increasingly proving to become a force to reckon with despite the ongoing war against Russia. In 2021, they advanced to the quarter-finals of the Euros, where they were eventually eliminated by England with a decisive 4-0 scoreline. With that said, Ukraine has not suffered many defeats since and has been a tough nut to crack, as seen in the draw against Germany in June 2023 (3-3). 


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Ukraine vs Italy Match Info

Ukraine vs Italy Prediction and Odds

Italy might seem like the favourite on paper. Still, since Tonali has been suspended on Italian soil just like Fagioli, the midfield battle is announcing itself much more complicated for the Italians. Italy has notoriously struggled with counter-attacking mid-blocks, especially with players like Cristante, who find it difficult to move blocks around instead of just using width. Additionally, looking at Ukrainian teams, Shakhtar Donetsk’s victory against Barcelona (1-0) showed how technically astute Ukrainian players are while being able to deny teams with better players passing lanes. 

Italy’s convincing 5-2 win over North Macedonia demonstrated notable improvement in recent weeks, ensuring that past disappointments would not be repeated. It was Italy’s first victory against Macedonia since 2016, and they wouldn’t want to spoil the party against another Eastern European team.

Ukraine vs Italy Betting Tip

With this mid-block and players like Zabarnyi (center-back), the defence is looking pretty stacked on the Ukrainian side. A wall that is difficult to bypass, but Ukrainian philosophy on the international side in the past years has never been that of a dominant, super-attacking side. It’s likely to see the Italians have the ball without ever breaking through. But with Ukrainians taking very few shots on average, it’s hardly foreseeable to see a Ukrainian victory; this will be similar to trench warfare, with the front being blocked by either side, unable to advance. Ukrainians will be careful and reticent to risks to stay in second place. A goalless draw is more than reasonable, with 90 minutes being insufficient to separate both sides. 

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