Romania U21 vs Ukraine U21 Predictions & Match Preview
Soccer Euro Under 21 Championship - Group Stage
⚽ 24 June 2023 - 16:00 GMT +0
Tournament co-hosts Romania were gallant in defeat against 2023 European Under-21 Championship favourites Spain, holding the giants scoreless for the first half before buckling thereafter. Replicating their fairytale run to the semi-finals in 2019 could be quickly out of reach if they cannot pick up a point or three against Ukraine, who go into this game considered the most likely to join Spain in snatching one of the two quarter-finals spots up for grabs in Group B.
Now without a win against another national team for eight matches (D3, L5), Romania’s attacking unit is immediately going to have to sort themselves out to save their campaign. Romania is now without a goal in the most recent four of those eight winless games, cancelling out the impact of impressive clean sheets against Germany and the Netherlands.
The Ukrainians scored in each half for the third time in five 2023 outings when easing past Croatia 2-0 in the group opener. It was a result that manager Ruslan Rotan said was “one hundred per cent deserved” before identifying the opening 30 minutes as the best part of their performance. Having not trailed at half-time to anyone but Italy and France since the start of qualifying for this event in September 2021 (1H: W8, D9, L3), starting strong appears to be one of their biggest assets.
Rotan is not getting carried away with the win, nor is he taking the co-hosts for granted despite their status as the rank outsiders of the group, telling the press that he anticipated “a tough match both physically and mentally”, especially with at least another 20,000 fans expected to be supporting Romania from within the walls of the Stadionul Steaua.
📋 Players to watch: 21-year-old Louis Munteanu propelled his club Farul Constanța to their second top-flight title with five goals in his last four club appearances of the season. He was an unused substitute in their win over Croatia, but Chelsea recruit Mykhailo Mudryk is expected to be handed a start after registering assists in his two games for the senior national team earlier this month.
⚡ Hot streak: Ukraine U21 has completed 42 consecutive games without a 0-0 draw.
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