September 6, Spain will meet Ukraine at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano for the match of the second round of UEFA Nations League 2020-21. Andriy Shevchenko’s side is considered to be the underdog. Let’s see if it is really so.
The Spain national football team is rightfully considered to be the one of the strongest teams in the world. Let’s recall, for example, their winning streak, when in 2008 and 2012 they won EURO, and in between in 2010 – the World Cup.
Since then, however, the team has been going through ups and downs. Thus, in 2014 Spain were eliminated from the group stage of the World Cup, having earned only 3 points and taken the 3 place in their group. In 2016, under del Bosque’s stewardship the national team lost to Italy in the quarterfinals (2-0). That defeat was the last straw of patience of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, which later sacked del Bosque.
At the World Cup 2018, the Red Fury, managed by Fernando Hierro, lost a penalty shootout to hosts Russia in the round of 16.
Thanks to Luis Enrique and Robert Moreno’s combined efforts, Spain qualified for the EURO 2020 playoffs. Frankly speaking, their group was rather average.
Anyway, Spain remains Spain, no matter what. It is the homeland of La Liga – one of the strongest championships in the world.
The national team has definitely come to life with the new head coach, Andriy Shevchenko. The former striker, Shevchenko managed to form a team which is able to achieve goals. First of all, Shevchenko focused on the youth, giving them the opportunity to show themselves in the field. It turned out to be a very successful move. Hungry for big victories, young players are not intimidated even by top opponents.
In the Nations League 2018-19, Ukraine could beat Czech on a visit (1-2) and Slovakia at home (1-0). Several successive victories promoted Ukraine to the League A.
During EURO 2020 qualifications, the Yellow and Blue had to play against tough groupmates, Portugal and Serbia. However, neither Portugal nor Serbia could defeat the Ukrainians. Fantastic home wins over Serbia (5-0) and Portugal (2-1) provided Ukraine with the 1st place in their group. Both away matches ended in a draw. Thus, Shevchenko’s troops didn’t lose a single game.
Who to bet on?
Bookmakers doubt that in the upcoming match Ukraine will be able to repeat their last year success. The odds for Shevchenko’s side are 5.65.
The obvious favourite here is Spain, given the odds of 1.544.
Football can be unpredictable. That’s why we all love it. Any underdog can be lucky and prepared enough to beat the favourite.