North Macedonia vs UkraineEuro 2024, KO: 19:45 Jun 16, 2023, Philip II Arena
Ukraine go in search of their first win in the 2024 European Championship qualifiers as they travel to North Macedonia for a Group C fixture on Friday. The Macedonians have made a good start to the campaign but are yet to face a team with the quality of Ukraine, who are expected to come out on top.
North Macedonia have only played once in the qualifiers as they began their campaign with a 2-1 home defeat to Malta. They raced to a two-goal lead through Eljif Elmas and Darko Churlinov but endured a nervy ending after the Maltese pulled one back five minutes from time.
The Macedonians are now heading into Friday’s clash with two straight home wins having claimed a 1-0 victory over Faroe Islands in a friendly back in March. However, both results have come against lower ranked sides and they could be given a sterner test by Ukraine.
The two wins also ended a run of four defeats in five matches for North Macedonia, with two of those losses coming at home. Blagoja Milevski’s men have also struggled to keep things tight at the back with just one clean sheet in their last seven matches across all competitions.
Ukraine have also played just once in the qualifiers as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to England in their opening fixture. With current European champions Italy also in the same group, they will be keen to jumpstart their campaign and avoid slipping into hole.
The Ukrainians warmed up for the trip to North Macedonia with a thrilling 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday. They bounced back from an early setback to take a 3-1 lead thanks to a brace from Viktor Tsygankov and an Antonio Rudiger own-goal before conceding twice late on.
As seen on Monday, defending continues to be a problem for Ukraine, who have conceded five goals in their last two matches. However, with a 5-0 victory in Armenia and a 2-0 triumph Inverness Republic of Ireland among their recent away results, manager Serhiy Rebrov will be confident of coming out on top in North Macedonia.
How the bookies view it
Head to head
Ukraine have a 3-1 advantage with one draw from five previous matches against North Macedonia. Both teams met in Euro 2020 with the Ukrainians claiming a 2-1 victory.
Players to watch
Ilija Nestorovski often features in attack for North Macedonia and could be the one to watch on Friday. Bet365 has the attacker at odds of 11/4 to get on the score sheet.
Having netted a brace against Germany on Monday, Viktor Tsygankov could be worth keeping an eye on for Ukraine. The attacker is priced at odds of 15/4 by bet365 to get on the score sheet on Friday.
Anything else catch the eye?
North Macedonia and Ukraine have some quality in attack and given their defensive frailties, both teams could be backed to score at evens with Coral. The Ukrainians saw over 3.5 goals in their last outing and a repeat is priced at 18/5 by BetVictor while 10bet is offering odds of 5/4 for over 2.5 goals.
Ukraine have been a bit more prolific in recent times and can be tipped to where first on Friday at 3/4 by BoyleSports.
This Euro 2024 match between North Macedonia and Ukraine will be played on Jun 16, 2023 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best North Macedonia vs Ukraine prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.