Ukraine and Turkey Meet in Top Four Shootout

Ukraine and Turkey Meet in Top Four Shootout

UEFA World Cup qualifying Group I is set for a very exciting finish.  The top four teams have just 2 points between them and Ukraine and Turkey sit in fourth and third respectively on 11 points each, 2 points behind Croatia and Iceland.

With both Croatia and Iceland set to pick up maximum points in this round of fixtures, whoever can win this game will have a distinct advantage over the loser going into the final three matches.

Since splitting from the Soviet Union, Ukraine have participated in one World Cup finals, which was Germany 2006.  They did well to reach the quarter-final stage but have failed to qualify for the finals since that success.

Turkey have played in two World Cup finals, with their first appearance coming way back in 1954 when they were eliminated at the first-round stage.  Their most recent appearance came in 2002 when they famously finished third in Japan and South Korea.

Ukraine Form

Ukraine have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 1 of their 6 World Cup qualifying games.  They began their campaign with draws at home to Iceland and away to Turkey, the latter of which finished 2-2.

Since then, they have defeated Kosovo and Finland at home plus picked up maximum points in the away match against the Fins.  Their only defeat has come in the away fixture in Croatia, which Ukraine lost 1-0.

Home form in World Cup qualification shows Ukraine as being a tough team to beat on home soil.  They are undefeated in their previous 8 home games and have picked up some good wins against France and Poland.  They have also kept 6 clean sheets in their last 7 home World Cup qualifiers.

Turkey Form

Turkey come into this match with an identical record to their hosts in World Cup qualifying Group I but with a 1 goal superior goal difference.  That is what separates the teams ahead of this crucial game.

Turkey started their campaign with a good 1-1 draw in Croatia but were then held at home by Ukraine before losing 2-0 in Iceland.  They recovered by defeating Kosovo and Finland at home before comfortably beating Kosovo away from home.

The one problem Turkey have faced in this group is conceding goals and they have kept just two clean sheets, both at home against the weakest teams in the group.  Turkey’s recent away World Cup qualifying record is good and they have lost only 1 of their last 6 away games, winning 4 of them.

Team News

Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko and the biggest threats for Ukraine going forward and both are set to start in wide positions, with Artem Kravets as the central striker.  The experienced Ruslan Rotan will play in midfield.

Turkey are without Burak Yılmaz who is suspended but Arda Turan makes a return to the squad and should line up in midfield along with Nuri Sahin, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Emre Mor.

Top Betting Tips

Turkey have a good recent away record but Ukraine are very strong at home and with their fans behind them could come away from this match with a crucial 3 points.  Ukraine to win is 13/10 with Bet365.

Ukraine have also shown themselves to be good defensively at home and if they score first, will be very difficult for Turkey to break down.  Ukraine to win without conceding a goal is 12/5 with Ladbrokes.

Artem Kravets has 3 goals to his name in World Cup qualifying, 2 of which have come at home and the striker will be a big threat in this game.  Kravets to score at any time is 2/1 with Bet365.

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