On paper, Group B1 may look close with three teams tied on three points but with two of those having played a game more it’s slightly less even. Ireland are one of the teams tied on three points and have the upper hand in second, but they are also one of the teams to have played a game more, amassing their three points from three matches.
Stephen Kenny’s side haven’t really enjoyed their start to the 2022/23 Nations League, losing their first game 1-0 to Armenia – a scoreline they repeated in defeat against Ukraine. That second defeat took Ireland’s record in the Nations League to 12 without victory, a run that has spanned the three separate tournaments. But they finally got their first win last time out, beating Scotland 3-0 at the weekend thanks to a stellar display in Dublin. It gives Ireland a big advantage over Scotland should they remain level on points and moved them to within three of the leaders.
But they face the leaders on Tuesday and Ukraine are on form in the Nations League. Ukraine have played just two games so far, facing Scotland in World Cup qualifying instead of their planned Nations League meeting before contesting the play-off final against Wales. That final ended in defeat, meaning Ukraine will not be at the World Cup, but they have bounced back in good fashion.
First, Ukraine beat Ireland 1-0 in their opener thanks to Viktor Tsygankov’s second-half strike, immediately moving them to second in the group. They moved three points clear at the weekend by beating Armenia 3-0, again thanks to a second-half showing, and could open up a six-point gap over Ireland with victory on Tuesday.
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Ukraine vs Ireland match stats
Ukraine have been slow starters in the June international window, across both World Cup qualifying and the Nations League. Of the seven goals Ukraine have scored this month, six have come in the second half of their matches, including all four of their Nations League goals.
But at the same time, Ukraine have been faultless defensively in the Nations League. Oleksandr Petrakov’s side are yet to concede in the Nations League this campaign and are in fact one of just three teams across all four leagues to achieve that, alongside Turkey and Greece (both in League C).
How to live stream Ukraine vs Ireland online:
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