Scotland vs. Ukraine: UEFA Nations League Preview, Matchday 4, 2022
Hampden Park hosting Ukraine's training session, on Tuesday evening.

Both teams will look back at their meeting on the first day of summer this year with a lot of bitter memories. For Scotland, the 1-3 defeat on the 1 June brought to an end their hopes of reaching the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Andriy Yarmolenko opened the score, on what was the national team's first competitive match, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February of this year. Roman Yaremchuk's header, early in the second half, further dampened the mood of the majority of Hampden Park. A scruffy goal from Callum McGregor gave Scotland hope, before Artem Dovbyk put the tie to bed, with the last kick of the game.

For Ukraine, the highs of that play-off semi-final were ultimately made to count for nothing, following their immensely frustrating and unfortunate defeat in the eventual final against Wales. The 0-1 loss in Cardiff, where Ukraine failed to make any of their 24 shots at goal count, put to an end Oleksandr Petrakov's 11 match unbeaten run as manager. 

However, reflecting the mood of their country, life had to go on. Nine days on from the devastation of Cardiff, Ukraine were already halfway through their UEFA Nations League campaign. Most notably, an away win against Ireland - with a fully rotated starting eleven, leaves them top of the group. Ukraine sit on seven points after three games, in prime position for promotion.

Scotland's defeat in Dublin has meant that they will, most likely, require to pick up at least four points from the two meetings between them and Ukraine this international break. They comfortably overcame Armenia either side of their disappointing trip to Ireland, leaving them on six points, in second place.

Team News

Scotland

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The absence of Andrew Robertson will be a significant blow to the hosts' hopes of achieving promotion to the Nations League's elite division. However, the full-back's absence will be deputised by the return of Kieran Tierney to the national set-up, following his time out in the summer. 

Other absences in defence include John Souttar and Liam Cooper, this has led to Hibernian's Ryan Porteous earning his maiden call-up.

Alongside Tierney, Scotland's 11 tomorrow should feature quite a few fellow Premier League representatives. Scott McTominayNathan Patterson, Billy Gilmour, John McGinn, Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams are just some of the names likely to feature.

The original Scotland squad was also disrupted, due the late exclusions of Grant Hanley, Jon McLaughlin and Jacob Brown

Ukraine

Ukraine's squad, at the start of Tuesday evening's training session.

The visitors will be without three crucial players. Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mykola Shaparenko and Georgiy Bushchan all miss out on the September internationals, due to injuries.

Zinchenko and Shaparenko's absences will be particularly frustrating, as they significantly weaken Ukraine's midfield strength and depth. 

It remains to be seen whether Petrakov will opt for his preferred option of a three-man partnership in central defence, or the traditional back four. It was the latter, which brought Ukraine success on their last trip to Hampden Park

Should Ukraine opt for the extra midfield slot, Serhiy Sydorchuk will likely be the man to replace Valeriy Bondar in the predicted team. Such a move may also provide Ruslan Malinovskyi with a bit more attacking freedom, which would suit the Atalanta midfielder.

The return of domestic top flight football in Ukraine has aided a lot of players to approach this game much better prepared, than for the corresponding fixture in June. 

Predicted Lineups

Scotland

Gordon; McTominay, Hendry, Tierney; Patterson, Gilmour, McGregor, Taylor; McGinn, Armstrong, Adams.

Ukraine

Trubin; Bondar, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko; Karavaev, Stepanenko, Malinovskyi, Mykolenko; Yarmolenko, Mudryk, Yaremchuk.

Key Players

Scotland - John McGinn

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Aston Villa midfielder has clearly established himself as a crucial player for both club and country. 

McGinn played in a more advanced midfield role, closer to the central forward, in most recent internationals against Ireland and Armenia. His tremendous all-round ability underlines his versatility to play a variety of midfield roles and positively contribute towards his team.

With the presence of other capable deeper midfield options, added to by the return of Ryan Jack to the senior squad, McGinn's ability to effectively play the more advanced role will be welcomed by Steve Clark.

Ukraine - Mykhaylo Mudryk

Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images
Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images

Shakhtar Donetsk's decision to keep hold of their young winger, amidst rumoured offers from around Europe this summer, has already proved itself to be correct.

Mudryk has been one of Shakhtar's key men, as they began their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 4-1 thrashing away at RB Leipzig and a home draw against Celtic. In the two games, the 21-year-old has contributed with a combined four goal involvements - two goals and assists each. 

Given the talent in this Ukraine team, a start tomorrow is not a foregone conclusion, even considering Mudryk's start to the season. Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk will be expected to make-up the rest of the forward line. Viktor Tsyhankov is the other option - he may start on either wing. 

Match Details

Where is the game being played?

Hampden Park in Glasgow will host the meeting. Ukraine will make their third trip to the stadium since the summer of 2021, hoping to add to their good recent record in the Scottish city.

What time is kick-off?

The game is scheduled to kick-off at 19:45 BST. It will be the only UEFA Nations League match of Wednesday. 

How can I watch?

The game is scheduled to be broadcasted in the U.K. on ITV4 and Premier Sports 1. 

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