Ukraine v Northern Ireland betting tips: Tough night in store for Baraclough’s boys
Northern Ireland prepare for their World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in September with a friendly against Euro 2020 participants Ukraine at the Dnipro Arena on Thursday night.
Ian Baraclough got his first win inside 90 minutes in 12 attempts with a 3-0 victory over Malta and his side are 6/1 to spring a surprise against Ukraine, who are 8/13 to win.
The visitors’ confidence will be high but a tough task lies ahead of them so let’s check out some of the odds for our Ukraine v Northern Ireland betting tips.
Ukraine qualified for Euro 2020 ahead of defending champions Portugal thanks to six wins and two draws from their eight matches but they are winless in their last seven outings.
Their last four matches – three of which were World Cup qualifiers – ended in 1-1 draws which is available at 6/1 or the game to end even is priced at 12/5.
The last time these teams met came at Euro 2016 when Michael O’Neill’s side ran out shock 2-0 winners but Ukraine have improved since then.
The eastern Europeans were relegated from League A in the Nations League in November but they still managed to beat Spain and they drew 1-1 with France in a World Cup qualifier in March having lost 7-1 to them in October.
Seven of their last eight games have produced three or fewer match goals and they are 10/11 to win by that method.
Interestingly, Ukraine have kept just one clean sheet in their previous 11 games and both teams to score can be backed at 8/5.
Gent striker Roman Yaremchuk is the focal point for Ukraine’s attack, with coach Andriy Shevchenko utilising a 4-3-3 system for the draw against world champions France in which Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko played on the left side of midfield.
Baraclough recalled Rangers winger Jordan Jones for the win against Malta and he repaid the coach’s faith with a second-minute goal.
St Johnstone’s Ali McCann also scored his first international goal in the same game playing on the left of midfield in a 5-3-2 formation and he could retain his place.
Yaremchuk has scored six goals in 19 appearances for his country and is 7/2 to break the deadlock, along with West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko and Dynamo Kiev striker Artem Besedin.
Zinchenko is 7/2 to get on the scoresheet or 15/2 to draw first blood against a Northern Ireland team for whom Kyle Lafferty is the favourite to find the net at 4/1.
Captain Stuart Dallas, so prolific with Leeds this season, is 10/1 to score anytime, although he played most of the game against Malta.
Where: Dnipro Arena
When: 19:00, Thursday 3rd June
How to watch: Sky Sports
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication