Value galore in opposing the Netherlands
Ukraine look value outsiders in their opening match of the tournament against the Netherlands at the Johan Cruyff Arena, home of Ajax. In the absence of Virgil Van Dijk and in the presence of misfiring gaffer Frank De Boer, it is a weakened Netherlands than the one we saw reach the 2019 Nations League final under Ronald Koeman. They are stacked in midfield areas but in both boxes there are frailties, such that tricky Group C opponents in the form of Ukraine and Austria may be able to expose. The Dutch are surprisingly short to get the win here, providing value and insurance in a Ukraine based play.
Oranje have struggled in their two most competitive games in 2021, drawing with Scotland and losing 4-2 Turkey. It is hard to read into their comfortable victories over Gibraltar, Latvia and Georgia that have come either side. The side have been lacking in offensive areas since Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben’s international careers drew to a close and failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was a symptom of that. Three years on and they have appointed an inadequate manager, making them one of the weaker top tier nations in the tournament.
Ukraine have had the stuffing knocked out of them a touch by COVID, they qualified for the competition in impressive fashion, topping the group that accommodated the reigning champions Portugal. Key men include Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, Atalanta’s Ruslan Malinovksy, Shakhtar Donetsk’s Marlos and Gent’s Roman Yaremchuk. Ukraine lost some momentum in the most recent Nations League campaign but they have the metal to ensure that does not affect them and come into the group stage unbeaten in six.
An unders play may be preferable but the outright prices threw up a more obvious play.
- Oranje have scored in nine of ten.
- Oranje have conceded in six of ten.
- Oranje have seen both teams score in six of ten.
- Oranje have seen over 2.5 goals in six of ten.
- Ukraine have scored in eight of ten.
- Ukraine have conceded in seven of ten.
- Ukraine have seen both teams score in five of ten.
- Ukraine have seen over 2.5 goals in three of ten.
Ukraine will be no push over and therefore the Asian Handicap is a great place to go.