Date: September 3, 2014
Venue: NSK Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
Time: 18:00 BST
After Paraguay pulled out due to safety concerns, Ukraine has arranged a friendly with Moldova to take place this Wednesday. This will be perfect preparation for both sides as Euro qualifiers start this week.
Ukraine’s form looks excellent, but not when one looks a little deeper. One of their wins was against San Marino. Another one was against France in a world cup playoff, and they ended up getting knocked out any way. The other two came in friendlies, one in March over the US and one in May over Niger. So although their form appears better than Moldova’s, they will be rusty as they’ve only played one friendly since March.
Moldova’s most recent friendlies came in late May and early June. They triumphed 4-0 over Saudi Arabia before drawing against Canad and losing to Cameroon 1-0. In those friendlies, Moldova mostly played teams around their level, so will have a tough task on Wednesday. Cameroon is the strongest team they faced, and Ukraine will be a step up even on the African side.
Ukraine: Andriy Yarmolenko
The talented 24-year-old winger has been linked with several big clubs in the past, but he is still a Dynamo Kyiv player. He was one of the best players when Ukraine played the USA in March, and he will be a constant threat against Moldova.
Moldova: Alexandru Epareanu
The center back is the captain of the Moldovan team, and even though he is a defender he has surprisingly scored 7 goals for his national side. He currently plays for Istanbul BB in the Turkish first division. He will have to use all his experience to marshal his defense against a talented Ukrainian side.
Based on the talent in the two squads, and their rankings, Ukraine should win comprehensibly. And while you never know what can happen in friendlies, BetVictor’s offer of 6.0 for a 2-0 win for Ukraine looks to be a tempting one.