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Euro 2024 Qualifying: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Ukraine Prediction & Betting Tips

Ukraine
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Euro 2024 Qualifying Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Ukraine

As Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine prepare to face each other in the highly anticipated Euro 2024 playoff semi-final this Thursday, both teams come with their own narratives, shaped by their respective journeys through the qualification stages. This encounter is not just a battle for a place in a major European competition; it's a testament to the resilience and determination of two nations with contrasting footballing stories in recent years.

Date: 21/03/2024

Kick-off time: 19:45

Location: Bilino Polje

Bosnia-Herzegovina's path to the playoffs has been anything but straightforward. Finishing 5th in a qualifying group that included Portugal, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, the team's performance fell short of expectations. Positioned behind Luxembourg and Iceland, nations with less illustrious footballing pedigrees, Bosnia-Herzegovina's campaign was marked by underachievement. The disappointment was palpable, given the quality within their ranks and their potential to compete at a higher level.

Their journey to the playoff stage, courtesy of their performance in the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League, offers a chance at redemption. Despite the setbacks in the qualifiers, Bosnia-Herzegovina boast a squad replete with talent playing across good quality leagues in Europe. The presence of veteran striker Edin Džeko, alongside the experienced Miralem Pjanić, provides leadership and quality on the field. The squad is further bolstered by the likes of Anel Ahmedhodžić, Sead Kolašinac, Amar Dedić, Rade Krunić, and Ermedin Demirović, all of whom bring top-level club experience to the national team setup.

Under the guidance of Savo Milošević, who took the helm amid managerial upheavals during the qualification campaign, Bosnia-Herzegovina aim to navigate this crucial encounter with strategic acumen. Milošević, stepping in after the Bosnian FA's dismissal of two previous managers, including Meho Kodro's notably brief two-game tenure, brings stability and a fresh perspective. With a sole major tournament appearance as an independent nation at the 2014 World Cup, Bosnia-Herzegovina are keen to add a European Championship to their CV.

Ukraine's road to the playoffs is a tale of fine margins and contested moments. Finishing 3rd in a group with England, Italy, North Macedonia, and Malta, Ukraine matched Italy on points but missed out on automatic qualification due to an inferior head-to-head record. The final qualifying match against Italy, a goalless draw marked by a controversial penalty non-call for Ukraine in the dying moments, epitomised the narrow line between success and disappointment in football.

Despite these challenges, Ukraine enter the playoffs as one of the strongest contenders, underscored by a squad that includes talents like Anatoliy Trubin, Illya Zabarnyi, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Mykhailo Mudryk. This blend of youth and experience, playing at some of Europe's elite clubs, underlines Ukraine's robust footballing infrastructure and development programs.

Under the stewardship of Serhiy Rebrov, Ukraine are determined to maintain their presence on the European stage. Having qualified for the last three editions of the European Championship, Ukraine are no strangers to the pressures and expectations of international competition. Rebrov's tactical nous and understanding of the European football landscape will be crucial in navigating the playoff and securing a berth at Euro 2024.

The historical encounters between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine, albeit few, add an intriguing backdrop to this playoff semi-final. With one win for Ukraine and one draw in their previous meetings back in 2021, the upcoming match is poised as a closely contested affair, with both teams eager to assert their dominance and progress to the next stage.

Home advantage is certainly as it says in the title for Bosnia-Herzegovina, but Ukraine have become pretty adept at playing in unfamiliar surroundings given their inability to compete on home soil since Russia's invasion of their homeland so they'll likely be able to curtail that advantage more than many other sides would.

Both of these sides have some impressive talent on display so if you're looking for some football to tune into on Thursday night then this game should be pretty high on your list.

Ukraine To Win

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Ukraine To Win @ 10/11
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Both Teams To Score

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Ukraine To Score 2+ Goals

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Ukraine To Score 2+ Goals @ 11/10
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Team News

Bosnia Team News:

Centre-back Adrian Barišić is out injured for the home side here so Hamburg's Dennis Hadžikadunić should partner Anel Ahmedhodžić at the heart of the defence, while Sead Kolašinac and Amar Dedić will take up the full-back positions.

Miralem Pjanić should partner Gojko Cimirot at the base of the midfield, with Rade Krunić playing behind Edin Džeko while Ermedin Demirović occupies the wide left position.

Ukraine Team News:

Serhiy Rebrov has the luxury of choosing between two top goalkeepers in Benfica's Anatoliy Trubin and Real Madrid's Andriy Lunin; based on recent selections, it seems like Rebrov will stick with the former here.

Bournemouth's Illya Zabarnyi will start at centre-back for Ukraine with Everton's Vitaliy Mykolenko at left-back. Oleksandr Zinchenko will assume his usual spot in the national team in the centre of midfield, with Oleksandr Pikhalyonok potentially in line to line up next to Zinchenko in the absence of the experienced Taras Stepanenko.

Mykhailo Mudryk will likely start this game as a left winger while Girona's Artem Dovbyk is set to be preferred to Valencia's Roman Yaremchuk up top.

Form Guide (Last Five Games)

Bosnia-Herzegovina are woefully out of form as they come into this game having won one and lost four of their last five games. Their most recent game was a 1-2 defeat at home to Slovakia in their final qualifying game of the group phase, where despite taking the lead through an own goal, Bosnia-Herzegovina eventually fell to a 1-2 defeat after Renato Gojković was shown a red card with the scores level at 1-1 with just under half an hour remaining.

The game followed one of the worst results Bosnia-Herzegovina have suffered in recent years where they fell to a 4-1 loss away in Luxembourg, which was also preceded by a 0-5 hammering at the hands of Portugal.

Savo Milošević has had only four games in charge of this team and his sole win came 2-0 victory away at Liechtenstein thanks to goals from Amar Rahmanović and Miroslav Stevanović.

Ukraine's form is much more promising as the Eastern Europeans enter this game with two wins, two draws and one loss from their last five games amidst a tough set of fixtures. Their most recent game was the aforementioned 0-0 draw with Italy that probably should have been more, a result that followed successive wins against Malta (3-1), thanks to goals from Artem Dovbyk and Mykhailo Mudryk alongside an own goal, and North Macedonia (2-0), courtesy of goals from Heorhiy Sudakovprior and Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Karavayev.

Prior to that, Ukraine fell to a 2-1 defeat away in Italy where an Andriy Yarmolenko goals on 41 minutes which halved a 2-0 deficit was not enough to give Ukraine a platform to go on and get a result, which followed a spirited 1-1 draw against England in Poland.

Footy Accumulators Prediction

On paper this is a pretty competitive matchup, and it may well turn out to be that way but Bosnia-Herzegovina have been performing so poorly of late it's hard to back anything other than a Ukraine win here. The caveat is that Savo Milošević's reign in the Bosnia-Herzegovina is so young it's still hard to project potential improvements from the Balkan side, but all available evidence points towards a win for the Ukrainians. We predict: Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-2 Ukraine.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

Header logoEuro 2024 Qualifying - Group J

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
1
Team logoPortugal
101000+3430
2
Team logoSlovakia
10712+922
3
Team logoLuxembourg
10523-617
4
Team logoIceland
10316+110
5
Team logoBosnia
10307-119
6
Team logoLiechtenstein
100010-270
Last updated 13/04/2024

Header logoEuro 2024 Qualifying - Group C

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
1
Team logoEngland
8620+1820
2
Team logoItaly
8422+714
3
Team logoUkraine
8422+314
4
Team logoN. Macedonia
8224-108
5
Team logoMalta
8008-180
Last updated 13/04/2024

Where To Watch

This game will be live to watch for all subscribed U.K. viewers in Viaplay Sports 2.

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