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Slovakia vs Ukraine Euro 2024 prediction: Can the Falcons build on big win in Group E?

Slovakia vs Ukraine Predictions: Can the Falcons build on big win?

Slovakia will be hoping they can build on their great start to Euro 2024 when they face winless Ukraine in their second Group E game.

Slovakia vs Ukraine Euro 2024 prediction: Can the Falcons build on big win?

Slovakia vs Ukraine latest prediction

Nobody will have expected Slovakia to make the start they did. Group E is a pretty even group, but everyone thought it would be Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine battling for second while Belgium walk to a 100% record. Slovakia were Belgium’s first opponents of the group stage, though, and they had other ideas.

Ivan Schranz opened the scoring after seven minutes and that would also be the only goal of the game as Slovakia held onto victory. Slovakia have now won each of their last four competitive internationals, their best winning run in competitive games since winning five in a row between October 2016 and September 2017.

If Slovakia were to get a fifth consecutive win against Ukraine, it would all-but secure their spot in the last 16 — the second time they have made it out of the group (from three attempts) since the split of Czechoslovakia.

Ukraine, on the other hand, must bounce back from a big defeat. Ukraine were tipped by some to be the second-placed team of this group, with a handful of young players eager to show their quality on the big stage. However, they were completely blown away by Romania in a 3-0 defeat.

Serhiy Rebrov’s men had a whopping 71% possession against Romania but that translated to just two shots on target and very little goal threat. At the other end of the pitch, Andriy Lunin was beaten from outside the box twice as well as a close-range tap in.

With goal difference also against them, Ukraine know that only a win will do if they want to reach the last 16, even through being one of the best third-placed teams.

The showdown between Slovakia and Ukraine takes place at Merkur Spiel-Arena, Düsseldorf.

Slovakia scored their only goal of their game against Belgium in the first half, while Ukraine conceded one before the break and two after when they faced Romania. And, looking slightly further back, it does look like action might come in the second half.

Seven of Slovakia’s last 13 goals across all competitions have come in the second half, while they have also conceded three after the break. At the same time, Ukraine have scored six of their past nine goals in the second half, also conceding three.

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Slovakia latest team news

There were no major shocks in Slovakia’s starting XI to face Belgium on Monday, with Denis Vavro and Ivan Schranz getting the nod over Norbert Gyomber and Tomas Suslov. Slovakia were just the second nation in European Championship history to name three players in their starting XI aged 35 or older, with Peter Pekarik (37), Juraj Kucka (37) and Martin Dubravka (35) all starting.

Kucka had more shots than any other Slovakia player against Belgium, while also creating one chance. On top of his goal, Schranz also created three chances from just 23 touches, so will likely keep his spot in an unchanged XI.

Ukraine latest team news

Rebrov did spring a few surprises in his XI that lost to Romania, particularly with Oleksandr Zinchenko starting at left-back rather than the midfield role he usually assumes. Taras Stepanenko and Mykola Shaparenko were the chosen double-pivot, with the former captaining the side. Andriy Lunin got the nod in goal but did have a game to forget, beaten twice from outside the box including one effort that went under him.

It will be interesting to see whether Rebrov does switch things up in his XI given how Ukraine suffered in front of goal despite their dominance of the ball. At most, we may see Zinchenko switched for Shaparenko, with Vitaliy Mykolenko coming in at left-back if he is fit.

Slovakia vs Ukraine head-to-head

This will be the ninth meeting between the nations, with Slovakia holding a slim 3-2 lead in their head-to-head encounters though there have also been three draws.

Slovakia vs Ukraine H2H
Date Score Ground
16/11/2018 Slovakia 4-1 Ukraine Štadión Antona Malatinskeho
09/11/2018 Ukraine 1-0 Slovakia Arena Lviv
10/11/2017 Ukraine 2-1 Slovakia Arena Lviv
08/09/2015 Slovakia 0-0 Ukraine Stadion pod Dubnom
08/09/2014 Ukraine 0-1 Slovakia NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium
10/02/2009 Slovakia 2-3 Ukraine Tsirio Stadium

How to watch Slovakia vs Ukraine live

This showdown will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer and online on the BBC website.

Every Euro 2024 game will be shown live on either BBC or ITV, with the two platforms sharing the broadcast rights.