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Ukraine vs Portugal Predictions

  • 18:45
  • Expired
  • NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium
Ukraine
Portugal
  • Sky Sports Premier League

7/5odds when tipped
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£26.20
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14/1odds when tipped
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Ukraine vs Portugal Predictions

Ukraine, who currently lead the way in Group B, play host to Portugal on Tuesday evening. Portugal will be looking to close the gap, though the Ukrainians have shown few signs of letting up.

When the draw for the groups was carried out, even the most loyal Ukraine fans probably wouldn’t have envisaged such dominance. Entering a group with Serbia and the current holders, both of whom were at the 2018 World Cup over Ukraine, looked as though it could be tough, but the Ukrainians haven’t been fazed, they’ve got their heads down and have delivered a handful of very encouraging performances.

It is important to note that Portugal have two games in hand over Monday’s hosts, but should Ukraine avoid defeat in this fixture, then the Portuguese will certainly be playing second fiddle.

In the last year or so, with experienced Brazilians Marlos and Junior Moraes switching allegiances and with a handful of others coming through, such as Viktor Tsygankov, the shape of the Ukrainian national team has started to look very different. We’re now talking about a side capable of offering an offensive threat whilst holding teams off defensively.

Not only have Monday’s hosts beaten minnows such as Luxembourg and Lithuania, but they’ve also trounced Serbia, while they held their own away in Portugal too, drawing 0-0. On that occasion, the Ukrainians showed that they can hold firm and withstand pressure.

Portugal have also done well in Group B, and despite not beating Ukraine at home, they don’t appear to be in any danger of dropping out of the top two, though that could soon change if they lose in Kiev on Monday.

In each of their first two qualifiers, the recent Nations League winners didn’t quite find their scoring touch, notching just once in over 180 minutes of football, but the current European champions have enjoyed themselves in front of goal of late. They scored four against Serbia, five against Lithuania and come into this match off the back of netting three in a routine win over Luxembourg.

Like Ukraine, Portugal haven’t allowed their opponents to do too much in the final, as an average of 0.96 expected goals against suggests. However, when pressed, Fernando Santos’ men have looked relatively easy to breach. Prior to keeping a clean sheet against Luxembourg on Friday night, they conceded both home and away against Serbia, while they were also unable to prevent Lithuania from scoring when last playing on the road. In fact, Portugal are yet to play away from home in Group B without conceding.

In the betting, ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’ stands out as a viable option. Both teams have given little away against minnows, but they’re each now up against the biggest attacking rival in the group. Moreover, Ukraine have scored eight in three at home, while Portugal have notched nine in two on the road during qualifying. The pair also have averages of 1.7 and 2.35 expected goals for in their respective home and away games, so plumping for the goals to arrive in no small number on Monday evening makes plenty of sense.

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