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Written By Onyeka Daniel

At the MHP arena, in Stuttgart, it will be Ukraine against Belgium in the third round of matches for both teams in the group E at the ongoing Euro 2024 tournament happening in Germany and it will be English referee, Mike Taylor in charge of proceedings from the centre as qualification to the knockout stage remains at stake for them. At this point, everything is still possible, going into this last round of fixtures in this group, in which all four sides boast three points from their opening two fixtures, an all-time first at the Championships.

Ukraine

For the Ukrainians, they’re currently at the bottom in the group, because of their inferior goal difference, so they would need at least a win or a point to qualify, depending on the result from the other game between Romania and Slovakia. Also, a draw could see them qualify as one of the best placed team in third position, this also depends on the result from the other game.

After showing resilience in their second game, coming from behind to defeat Slovakia, Ukraine will definitely fancy their chances of qualifying, as they had a similar comeback story on their way to qualifying for this tournament, during the playoffs (going 1-0 down and winning 2-1). For their manager, Sergiy Rebrov, there won’t be any change in formation, going with the usual 4-3-3 formation, but we’re probably going to see some changes in the starting lineup.

In goal, Anatoliy Trubin, former Shakhtar and now Benfica goalkeeper should start ahead of Lunin, as he more than justified his place in goal, for the triumph over Slovakia and should get the nod in goal again here, while Zinchenko may revert to his usual midfield role for his country if Mykolenko is deemed OK to start. Apart from these, it should be a pretty straightforward lineup from their last two games.

Key Players: While Dovbyk and Mudryk have failed to score a goal at the tournament, Roman Yaremchuk has scored within 15 minutes of his introduction in two of his last three games and he should prove to be a reliable option from bench.

Ukraine Possible Starting Lineup: Trubin; Tymchyk, Zabarnyi, Matvienko, Mykolenko; Sudakov, Zinchenko, Shaparenko; Yarmolenko, Dovbyk, Mudryk

Belgium

For the Red Devils, a point will be enough to secure their place in the next round, but a lot of their players with a point to prove, hence they will be going for the win and topping the group. After the shocking result from their first game, they sort of made up for that with a convincing display in their 2-0 win over Romania.

Going into this game, it’s still unclear which formation Domenico Tedesco will be deploying. After the success of the back three in their last game, the temptation is definitely there to use it, but with the absence of Dodi Lukebakio, due to suspension, only Jeremy Doku can offer that dribbling and trickery on the wings, as Leandro Trossard and Johan Bakayoko offer a different skillset in attack.

Key Players: Romelu Lukaku will be hoping to open his scoring account at the tournament in this match, but he will need the services of Kevin De Bruyne, while Youri Tielemans should retain his place in the midfield after scoring the first goal against Romania.

Head To Head

This is the first official and unofficial match between the two teams.

Read Also: Euro 2024: A Quick Slide Into Group E

Belgium Possible Starting Lineup: Casteels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Tielemans, Onana; Doku, De Bruyne, Trossard; Lukaku

Verdict

It might look like a sure win for Belgium, given the quality of their squad, but Ukraine will definitely be in this game until the end. A draw (1-1) or a slight win for Belgium (2-1).

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