Iceland vs Ukraine Prediction, Preview, Lineups, H2H & Betting Tips
Iceland vs Ukraine betting prediction for Tuesday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match. Guests from Ukraine hope to extend their good form after winning against Turkey, while hosts Iceland lost their visit to Finland but usually are extremely solid at home. Find out more about the game and read our free betting tips.
H2H History: Iceland vs Ukraine
Iceland seeks first ever win against Ukraine, who have won one and drawn two of their three matches with the Nordic side. That singular victory was back in 1999 when current Ukrainian coach Andriy Shevchenko was part of the selection.
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Iceland vs Ukraine 05.09.2017
Iceland haven’t lost on home soil since January 2014, when Sweden beat them 0:2 in a friendly match. Besides, their last home loss in a competitive fixture is from June 2013 – 2:4 vs Slovenia. Since then they have won eleven and drawn three of their 14 matches, including some glorious victories over teams like the Netherlands, Czech Republic Turkey and the latest 1:0 vs Croatia from June. That result alone should be enough to boost their confidence every time they take to the field in Reykjavik, despite their disappointing performance in Finland on Saturday night.
Nevertheless, Iceland still has a good chance, sitting third in the group but only three points off the top spot. The second place, which carries a likely playoff spot, are just one point above them, and it happens to be occupied by current enemy Ukraine, which sets a good target. Indeed, if the Icelandic team wins on Tuesday then all will be forgiven after their weekend slip, but a loss would damage their World Cup dreams very badly.
Ukraine took advantage of their opponents scoreless performance with a 2-0 win against Turkey in Kharkiv, where the newest Borussia Dortmund signing Andriy Yarmolenko scored twice. That has been preceded by an away win over Finland in June, putting the Ukrainians in a promising position for qualification. The upcoming visits to Iceland and Kosovo, as well as a home match vs Croatia in last qualifying round form one extremely difficult schedule for Ukraine, so they can’t afford any slip ups whatsoever.
Unfortunately for the away side, most of their nation’s strong performances are limited to Ukrainian soil. Away from home they have only won one of their three games since their poor Euro 2016 campaign, drawing against Turkey (2-2) and losing to Croatia (1-0).
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Icelandic midfielder Rurik Gislason will miss out through suspension but all key players are ready for battle. Main focus in Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side falls onto captain Aron Gunnarrson, Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson, Johan Gudmundsson and striker Alfred Finnbogason, who hasn’t scored for Iceland since the 2-0 win vs Turkey 11 months ago.
Andriy Yarmolenko proved his worth and that he’s one of the best Ukrainian players with the brace he scored against Turkey. Yarmolenko and Schalke’s Yevhen Konoplyanka are undoubtedly the most dangerous Ukrainian players who push through both wings and their presence will be the main challenge for Iceland’s defense. The veteran Ruslan Rotan, striker Artem Kravets, midfielders Taras Stepanenko and Viktor Kovalenko are other key players but the main question remains at the back, where Andriy Shevchenko has a new wave of players to choose from.
Iceland vs Ukraine Prediction and Betting Tips
Ukraine has a chance to reach the top or to improve the distance between them and the third spot, which pretty much depends on score from the other major Group I qualifier in Eskisehir (Turkey vs Croatia).
Iceland relies on their reputation of the perfect host built in the last couple of years so this may add some additional pressure for Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side. In fact, Iceland are those who need the win more and we’ll see how will they handle under these circumstances, when they have expectations to meet.
Our betting prediction goes on “Both teams to score – Yes“.
Possible Lineups of Iceland and Ukraine
Venue: “Laugardalsvöllur”, Reykjavik.
Referee: William Collum from Scotland.
Iceland: Hannes Thor Halldorsson – Birkir Mar Sævarsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Kari Arnason, Hördur Magnusson – Aron Gunnarsson, Emil Hallfredsson – Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason – Alfred Finnbogason. (4-2-3-1)
Ukraine: Andriy Pyatov – Bogdan Butko, Sergiy Kryvtsov, Evgen Khacheridi, Mykola Matvienko – Taras Stepanenko, Ruslan Rotan – Andrey Yarmolenko, Viktor Kovalenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka – Artem Kravets. (4-2-3-1)