Ukraine – Croatia
Ukraine hosts Croatia in a very decisive game from Group I of the Word Cup qualifiers in Europe.
This is a direct clash for the first place in this group. Both teams have the same amount of points – 17, but Croatia are the team with the better goal difference. This means that a draw would be enough for them to secure the second spot, while Ukraine needs to win at any cost.
Iceland are the leader in this group, but in the last game they are hosting Kosovo, so we can’t expect any surprises there. They are going to win this group.
For Croatia it has been a dissapointing time lately. They won only a point in their last two games and they even made a 1-1 home draw against Finland, which was really unexpected. It’s clear that they are not in a good mental place at the moment, but can they get back on their feet when it’s the most important time for that?
We should expect to see a terrific atmosphere in Kiev for this game. All Ukrainians are preparing themselves for a final here. They know that they have to win and they will do their best to do it. But the opponent is a tough one and everyone knows that.
This is surely one of the most interesting games of the whole qualifying campaign so far. Ukraine know that they have to win, but they also need to be careful and avoid being reckless in attack. Croatia have great players and they can punish the home team on counter-attacks. Meanwhile they know that even a draw would be enough for them, but it’s also very dangerous to play for a draw.
It would be interesting to see how these two teams will build their strategies for this game. It’s going to be a nice one to watch.