At first glance, Germany’s opening match against Ukraine might seem like a wholly one-sided affair. While you wouldn’t be far off by assuming this, the fact of the matter is that Germany put forth a sub-par effort in Euro warmup matches, and is facing a lot of criticism heading into their opening match. With losses to lowly Slovakia and a resurgent England, Germany will need to pick things up a lot to open this tournament with any sort of positivity.
Unlike Germany, Ukraine cruised through warmup matches, posting 4 wins out of 4. The Ukrainians are the weaker of the two team sheets, but what the Eastern Europeans lack in talent they make up for in cohesiveness and chemistry. When it comes down to it, Ukraine will be liking their own chances in this match, even if other people do not.
Match Analysis for Germany vs Ukraine in EURO 2016
The one aspect of both sides’ attacking third that matches up is the fact that both Ukraine and Germany boast a relatively seasoned attacking lineup. Germany, with names like Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski on the roster, are going to look to utilize experience in order to score goals. Ukraine is going to pursue the same exact tactic, however their listing of attackers is not as formidable as that of the Germans. For this reason, I am going to have to say that Germany are far and away the better of the two attacking sides.
Even though these two sides are somewhat evenly matched in the attacking third, Ukraine finds themselves completely outmatched through the middle of the pitch. Germany is boasting a midfield roster that perfectly balances youth with experience, and at the European Championships this is a deadly combination; especially when you consider how talented some of the German midfielders are. Ukraine, on the other hand, is sticking to a more seasoned grouping of homegrown players and hoping an organized midfield will help slow up German linkup play.
In the defensive third, the tables are once again tilted in the favor of the Germans. Boasting mostly youngsters, this will be the first time we see many of these backline players play together on the competitive stage. Ukraine, keeping with the same theme, is relying on a lot of homegrown experience. Though Germany’s defense is definitely the more talented of the two, Ukraine has a lot of experience, and at this level experience can make up and sometimes even work in place of raw talent.
Our Prediction for Germany/Ukraine
As much as I would like to say I envision an upset in this match, I think Germany will right the ship and get off to a hot start to this summer’s tournament. Favored at -165 on the moneyline, Germany are the out and out favorites to take 3 points from this match. With that being said, Ukraine (+475) will not go away without a fight and can easily make this a much closer match than most people are predicting. I think Germany will emerge from this match 3-1 victors.