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Preview: Ukraine vs. Spain - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's UEFA Nations League clash between Ukraine and Spain, including team news and predicted lineups.

Spain will be looking to strengthen their grip on first position in their UEFA Nations League group when they continue their League A Group 4 campaign away to Ukraine on Tuesday night.

La Roja are currently top of the section with seven points, two points clear of second-placed Germany, and they will enter the match off the back of a 1-0 win over Switzerland on Saturday.

Match preview

Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko pictured on September 7, 2019© Reuters

Ukraine are currently third in Group 4, collecting three points from their three matches in the section against Switzerland, Spain and Germany.

Andriy Shevchenko's side opened their 2020-21 UEFA Nations League campaign with a 2-1 home victory over Switzerland but have lost their last two against Spain and Germany.

Ukraine also suffered a 7-1 defeat to France in an international friendly last week, but it must be noted that the Yellow and Blues are far from at full strength after a coronavirus outbreak.

Taras Stepanenko was among those unavailable to travel due to a positive coronavirus test, while Mykola Matviyenko, Andriy Pyatov and Junior Moraes were also forced to withdraw after the rest of the Shakhtar Donetsk squad were placed into isolation.

Ukraine actually finished ahead of Portugal in their Euro 2020 qualifying section, remaining unbeaten across eight matches, collecting an impressive 20 points in the process, and they will mainly be using the Nations League to prepare for next summer's tournament.

Spain players celebrate Mikel Oyarzabal's goal against Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League on October 10, 2020© Reuters

Spain, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a 1-0 win over Switzerland on Saturday, with Mikel Oyarzabal scoring the only goal of the contest on home soil.

Luis Enrique's side opened their 2020-21 Nations League campaign with a 1-1 draw with Germany before beating Ukraine 4-0 in their first home game of the competition on September 6.

La Roja will now be looking to make it successive victories in the tournament ahead of clashes away to Switzerland and at home to Germany in November.

Spain breezed through their qualification section for next summer's European Championships, winning nine of their 10 matches, while they are now unbeaten in all competitions since losing to Croatia in the 2018-19 edition of the Nations League, a run which stretches 15 matches.

Ukraine have actually never beaten Spain in an international game, with La Roja winning five of their six previous meetings, including a 4-0 success in the reverse clash on September 6.

Ukraine Nations League form: WWLWLL
Ukraine form (all competitions): WDWLLL

Spain Nations League form: WLLDWW
Spain form (all competitions): WWDWDW

Team News

Ansu Fati celebrates scoring for Spain on September 6, 2020© Reuters

As mentioned, Ukraine are far from at full strength due to a coronavirus outbreak, meaning that it will once again have to be an experimental XI for the home side on Tuesday night.

In addition to those absent due to coronavirus restrictions, neither Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko nor Shakhtar's Yevhen Konoplyanka are in the squad due to injury, but West Ham United's Andriy Yarmolenko is a part of the current selection and should once again feature in an attacking position for Shevchenko's team.

Roman Yaremchuk is the only centre-forward in the Ukraine squad, and he will again operate at the tip of the attack, while there should also be spots for Viktor Tsygankov and Viktor Kovalenko.

As for Spain, Enrique is expected to shuffle his pack from the side that started against Switzerland, with Dani Ceballos and Gerard Moreno among those who could come into the XI.

The back five could remain unchanged, meaning that Sergi Roberto and Sergio Reguilon could start on the bench once again, but Ceballos has a chance of featuring alongside Mikel Merino and Sergio Busquets in midfield.

Enrique has altered his attack on a number of occasions in recent games, and it could be Dani Olmo's turn to drop out, with Ansu Fati and Oyarzabal potentially joining Gerard Moreno in the final third.

Adama Traore again featured off the bench against Switzerland, and the Wolverhampton Wanderers attacker is likely to be among the substitutes for a third game in succession.

Ukraine possible starting lineup:
Bushchan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Mykolenko, Sobol; Yarmolenko, Malinovskyi, Sydorchuk, Kovalenko, Tsygankov; Yaremchuk

Spain possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Navas, Ramos, Torres, Gaya; Merino, Busquets, Ceballos; Fati, Gerard Moreno, Oyarzabal

SM words green background

We say: Ukraine 1-2 Spain

Ukraine performed impressively against Germany on Saturday despite suffering another defeat, while it would be fair to say that Spain are still searching for their best form. We are expecting a tight game in Kiev but believe that the visitors will have enough quality to pick up another three points.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


Who will win Tuesday's UEFA Nations League clash between Ukraine and Spain?

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Spain players celebrate Mikel Oyarzabal's goal against Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League on October 10, 2020
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UEFA Nations League roundup: Spain beat Switzerland to strengthen grip on first position
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