Ukraine and North Macedonia will look to accumulate their first points of Euro 2020 when they meet in Bucharest on Thursday at 2pm (UK time).
Ukraine were involved in arguably the game of the tournament so far, coming up short in a five-goal thriller at the Johan Cruyff Arena as the Netherlands sealed a 3-2 win at the death. North Macedonia meanwhile put up a valiant effort in a 3-1 reversal to Austria on Sunday.
How to live stream Ukraine vs North Macedonia:
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Where to watch Ukraine vs North Macedonia on TV:
- UK: ITV
- US: ESPN
Scoreline prediction: Ukraine 2-1 North Macedonia
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Ukraine vs North Macedonia build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
There would have been mixed emotions for Andriy Shevchenko in Ukraine’s opener. His side were pedestrian and unthreatening until Andriy Yarmolenko uncorked a curling effort straight out the top drawer, and from there the comeback was on. The Blue and Yellow deserve huge credit for fighting back to 2-2 against the Netherlands, but questions must be asked of their poor start and ultimate failure to hold on to a precious point after battling back from the brink.
For North Macedonia it was a similar tale of woe. After going a goal down and looking unlikely to bounce back, North Macedonian immortal Goran Pandev instinctively found the target after a mix up at the back from Austria, netting the nation’s first goal at a European Championship. However, it wasn’t to be a debut win for Igor Angelovski’s Lynxes, who conceded twice after the break, but Group C is still very much in the balance.
- Ukraine (vs Netherlands): Bushchan; Karavayev, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko; Malinovskiy, Sydorchuk, Zinchenko; Zubkov, Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk.
- North Macedonia (vs Austria): Dimitrievski; Nikolov, Ristovski, Velkovski, Musliu, Alioski; Bardhi, Ademi, Elmas; Pandev, Trajkovski.
Viktor Tsyhankov is currently nursing a calf injury for Ukraine and was not fit enough to make the meeting with the Netherlands. He remains touch and go to make the matchday squad here. North Macedonia meanwhile made it through their match against Austria with no major injury concerns.
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Players to watch:
- Ukraine: Andriy Yarmolenko has often blown hot and cold for West Ham since moving from Borussia Dortmund, but for Ukraine his form is unquestionable. Granted, he has had his fair share of injury concerns in east London but fitness issues have not scuppered his presence for the national side. The 31-year-old is just five caps shy of a century and only seven goals behind his manager, Shevchenko, in the all-time scoring charts for Ukraine (41 to 48). Over the weekend, his Arjen Robben-esque finish reminded everyone of his qualities and the moment of magic he can produce in the blink of an eye. If Ukraine are to bounce back from defeat and offer a tangible presence in this competition, then Yarmolenko’s final-third involvement will be absolutely crucial to achieving that.
- North Macedonia: There is no question that just by being at Euro 2020, North Macedonia are in dreamland, but manager Angelovski will be keen to ensure his side are not just there to make up the numbers. So, the burden of responsibility cannot fall solely at the feet of Pandev. If the nation are to make a splash and achieve the unthinkable of making it out of the group stages, players will need to turn up across the turf, and one who could make a serious impact is Elif Elmas. The Napoli midfielder is arguably the nation’s most talented player having established himself as a regular presence at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. His technical qualities and ability to assert a presence in the midfield will be essential if North Macedonia are to match Ukraine and unsettle the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ruslan Malinovskyi.