Ukraine vs Poland Preview: Can the Poles finish as Group C leaders?

Poland will take on Ukraine on Tuesday and will aim to finish as the group leaders if Northern Ireland can prevent Germany from winning the last fixture of the group stage.

Ukraine vs Poland Preview: Can the Poles finish as Group C leaders?
Poland players training in Marseille | Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

After a solid performance against Germany in the recent fixture, Adam Nawalka and his side will be looking to finish the group stage unbeaten.

Team news

Ukraine currently have a full squad with no injury worries and will be expected to place a strong line-up to leave the Euros with a win. The coach, Mykhaylo Fomenko, could go on to making a few changes to allow the players from the bench to receive their chance.

Ukraine’s predicted XI: Boyko; Butko, Khacheridi, Kucher, Shevchuk; Rybalka, Rotan, Garmash; Yarmolenko, Konoplyanka; Zozulya.

Poland’s first choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny is struggling to make it for the game with a thigh injury and is expected to be replaced by Lukasz Fabianski. Poland ahead of the game have five players who are one booking away from a suspension, which could lead to Adam Nawalka allowing a few fringe players starting against Ukraine.

Poland’s predicted XI: Fabianski; Cionek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk; Blaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Zielinski, Kapustka; Milik, Lewandowski.

Ukraine will be playing for pride

Ukraine are already out of the Euro 2016 and will be playing for pride against Poland. They lost their first two matches against Germany and Northern Ireland whilst failing to score a goal in the competition.

The side haven’t done well defensively whilst the attackers have shown some positive signs despite the end product. Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka are the main players within the Ukraine squad, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they cause a couple of problems to Poland’s defence.

Many players will feel there isn’t much to play for after an early elimination from the competition, but a lot of fans have travelled to France to watch their national team and they do deserve to see an entertaining game alongside some goals too.

Poland will want to finish the group on a high note

Poland are in second place with four points, they only need a draw in the final game to guarantee their place in the last 16.

Robert Lewandowski is still yet to introduce himself in the tournament, he will be looking to grab a goal for his side before the knockout stages. The striker played a big role during the qualifications as Poland finished top scorers with 33 goals.

Key defender Lukasz Piszczek will have a tough game ahead of him, a yellow card throughout the game means he will miss the next match. This will give one of the fringe defenders a chance to impress the manager, if he decides to make a change for the Ukraine match.

Lukas Piszczek in training | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Lukas Piszczek in training | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images


After a poor European Championship campaign in 2008 and 2012, this will officially be Poland’s first time in the knockout stages.

Ukraine and Poland have completed seven head to head matches; Ukraine have won three of them whilst Poland have won two.

Ukraine completed the double against Poland during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

What to expect

Poland haven’t done much wrong in the first two games and have done well defensively against Germany. Lewanowski will be looking forward to start the game and try getting into some form before the knockout stages.

With only pride to play for, Ukraine will be expected to go all out against Poland who will be expected to place a weaker team. Poland will want to keep their key players fit and ready for the next match, which could give wingers Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka the chance to cause a threat.