Saturday, September 25
Sep 3, 2020 at 7.45pm UK
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Preview: Ukraine vs. Switzerland - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Ukraine vs. Switzerland - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:412488: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Thursday's UEFA Nations League clash between Ukraine and Switzerland, including team news and predicted lineups.

Ukraine and Switzerland get their UEFA Nations League campaign up and running at Arena Lviv on Thursday evening.

The pair are Group A4, which also contains heavyweight nations Spain and Germany, making this opening game all the more important.

Match preview

Switzerland were arguably the surprise package in the inaugural Nations League, finishing above Belgium to reach the finals in Portugal, where they lost to Portugal in the semis.

Vladimir Petkovic's side have played six matches since then, winning four of those to claim top spot in their Euro 2020 qualifying group.

With a place in next summer's rearranged tournament in the bag, Switzerland can now focus on these upcoming games with Ukraine, Spain and Germany.

Realistically speaking, avoiding relegation will likely be the target for La Nati, which is also the case for opponents Ukraine.

The Yellow and Blue also topped their 2018-19 Nations League group and finished above Portugal in qualifying for Euro 2020.

Andriy Shevchenko can be pleased with his work since taking over as national team boss, having seen his side go 11 matches without defeat overall.

The most recent of those games was a 2-2 draw with Serbia on November 17, but Shevchenko will be hoping that his side's momentum has not been killed off by the 10-month hiatus.

The same is true of Switzerland, of course, having also gone nearly a whole year since their last outing - a 6-1 win over Gibraltar to round off Euro 2020 qualifying in style.

This will be the third meeting between the sides, with the most recent match finishing 2-2 in a 2010 friendly in Geneva.

They also played out a goalless draw in the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup, before Ukraine prevailed 3-0 on penalties.

Ukraine form: WDWWWD

Switzerland form: DWLWWW

Team News

Both teams have been allowed to name an extended squad for their September fixtures, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on the footballing calendar.

Switzerland confirmed on Tuesday that goalkeeping coach Patrick Foletti has tested positive for COVID-19, but the playing squad has so far been unaffected.

In an attempt to rebuild some momentum following the long pause, Petkovic will try to field something close to the XI that featured last time out.

Ukraine, likewise, will be hoping to have as little disruption as possible between now and the day of the game.

Of the 11 players that started the Serbia match last November, 10 are part of the squad for this clash - Vitaliy Mykolenko being the exception.

West Ham United forward Andriy Yarmolenko is expected to retain his place up top, with Roman Yaremchuk providing support.

Ukraine possible starting lineup:
Pyatov; Karavaev, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko, Sobol; Sydorchuk; Tsygankov, Kovalenko, Malinovskyi, Yaremchuk; Yarmolenko

Switzerland possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez; Lang, Sow, Xhaka, Benito; Fassnacht, Vargas; Ajeti

We say: Ukraine 1-1 Switzerland

Both teams have been in good form and deserve their place among the highest-ranked clubs in the Nations League.

With Germany and Spain also in Group A4, Switzerland and Ukraine will know the importance of picking up victory in this opening clash.

Ukraine are unbeaten in four away games and Switzerland have won three in a row at home, so we are going to sit on the fence and back a draw.

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