France continue their World Cup qualification campaign on Saturday, when Didier Deschamps’ men visit Ukraine. Les Bleus have two wins and a draw after their first three games, while Ukraine started off with three draws. Oleksandr Petrakov just took over from Andriy Shevchenko in August and needs to start winning games, as Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kazakhstan are also part of this group.
Where and when: NSC Olimpiyskiy – 4 September, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Ukraine vs. France: Sky Sports
Last time: The last meeting between these countries took place in March and ended in a 1-1 draw. Antoine Griezmann opened the score for France, while Sergii Sydorchuk equalised for Ukraine shortly after the break.
Ukraine v France Predictions and Preview
France visit Ukraine for their next clash from Group D in the World Cup qualifiers. Les Bleus were held to a surprising 1-1 draw in Paris in the first fixture between those teams back in March and will try to register their fifth victory in their last seven games against this opponent.
France’s last victory over Ukraine was a 7-1 trashing in a friendly back in 2020, but a lot has changed since then. The Euro 2020 fiasco was followed by a lot of scandals in the media and this summer it became obvious that many things are wrong in the locker room of the world champions.
Karim Benzema’s return is undoubtedly a boost, but Kylian Mbappe’s state of mind remains a big question mark. The PSG star created problems at Euro 2020, while he has also refused to sign a new contract with his club, Paris Saint-Germain. Mbappe was heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid all summer and although he scored three times for the French giants, he needs to redeem himself for France after missing the decisive penalty against Switzerland.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
France to win
Over 2.5 goals
Mbappe to score first
Ukraine, meanwhile, have a new manager after Andriy Shevchenko decided to step down at the beginning of August. The AC Milan legend was Ukraine’s head coach for five years and was responsible for their best ever results at a World Cup in 2018 and at the European Championship, after reaching the quarter-finals this summer.
Oleksandr Petrakov, who has mainly managed Ukraine’s youth teams, has now taken over, but it remains to be seen if he’ll stick around or another coach will arrive.
All this puts a big question mark over Ukraine’s performance, but this cannot serve as an excuse, because the Blue and Yellows need to get results. Ukraine started off their group with three consecutive draws, which puts them in a tricky situation. Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kazakhstan are the other teams in what appears to be a very balanced Group D.
It’s no surprise that France are heavy 1/14 favourites to win the group and they will once again be tipped as one of the main contenders for the World Cup in 2022.
Les Bleus are 4/6 to get three points in Donetsk on Saturday, while Ukraine’s chances for a victory are priced at 4/1. The draw is rated at 27/10, while backing up both teams to score is available at 10/11 with William Hill.
One to watch for Ukraine: Andriy Yarmolenko scored twice for Ukraine at Euro 2020. The 31-year-old forward has been struggling for playing time at West Ham in the last few seasons, but this hasn’t affected his performance for Ukraine. Yarmolenko is always one to keep an eye on in the first scorer market and Saturday’s game is no exception.
One to watch for France: Kylian Mbappe was one of France’s worst performers at Euro 2020, after failing to score in each of Les Bleus’ four games, as well as missing the decisive penalty against Switzerland. The PSG star must bounce back quickly, so expect him to be extra motivated, which makes him one of the main favourites to score the opener against Ukraine.
Long shot: Ukraine tend to concede a lot of goals against the top teams, and Saturday’s game might not be an exception. A 3-0 victory for France is available at 11/1, while if you are looking for bigger odds you can pair this with Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe to score anytime.