Football Bet of the Day: Ukraine to remain resolute against Romania

 | Sunday 16th June 2024, 10:30am

Sunday 16th June 2024, 10:30am

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Romania and Ukraine kick off Euro 2024 Group E with a meeting against each other at the Munich Football Arena on Monday (14:00, BBC One).

Romania vs Ukraine also features in my football bet of the day for Monday, June 17, with one nation backed to get off to a fine start in Germany.

Football Bet of the Day - Monday, June 17

  • Ukraine vs Romania - Ukraine to win to nil @ 21/10

Ukraine experienced a mixed bag of results in their three pre-Euro 2024 friendlies this month, holding Germany to a goalless draw in Nuremberg on June 3 before losing 3-1 to Poland four days later, and ending preparations with a 4-0 victory over Moldova last Tuesday.

Since failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar when they lost 1-0 to Wales in the play-off final, Ukraine have lost just four of the 22 matches they have played and only finished third in their Euro 2024 qualifying group - behind winners England and runners-up Italy - due to an inferior head-to-head record against the Italians.

They picked themselves up to beat both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland in one-off play-off games to book their ticket to Germany this summer and will be confident of reaching the last 16 of the tournament after being drawn in Group E alongside Belgium, Slovakia and Romania.

Belgium are heavily fancied to top the table, but Ukraine are front of the running to finish second. The two nations don't meet until the third game of the group, meaning that Ukraine have the opportunity to get points on the board before playing Kevin De Bruyne and co.

The Blue-Yellow will be targeting all three points in their opening-round fixture with Romania in Munich on Monday.

Romania enjoyed a brilliant qualification campaign, going unbeaten across 10 games to finish five points ahead of runners-up Switzerland.

However, the Tricolorii weren't exactly prolific scorers, finding the net just 16 times, six fewer than the Swiss. Denis Alibec, Valentin Mihaila and Nicolae Stanciu top-scored for Romania, each netting three times, but Alibec is a doubt for Monday's match, while neither Mihaila nor Stanciu were able to make an impact in goalless international friendlies with Bulgaria and Liechtenstein earlier this month.

Romania are now winless in their last four games having drawn 1-1 with Northern Ireland on March 22 and lost 3-2 to Colombia four days later.

Football Bet of the Day - Monday June 17 2024 - Ukraine to win to nil vs Romania at 21-10

It's the lack of goals that are of particular concern, with neither Bulgaria nor Liechtenstein possessing watertight defences that warrant failing to score against either. To add to the low confidence among their attackers, Dennis Man also had a penalty saved against Bulgaria.

Ukraine, meanwhile, head into this clash on the back of two clean sheets in their last three games. Shutting out Moldova isn't exactly impressive, but holding Euro 2024 hosts Germany very much is. Serhiy Rebrov's side also conceded just eight times in as many qualifiers, keeping three clean sheets, including one against Italy.

Goalkeeper Andriy Lunin has enjoyed a brilliant season with Real Madrid, playing 21 times in La Liga and making eight appearances in the Champions League en route to Los Blancos doing the double, while Ilya Zabarnyi earned praise for his Premier League performances with AFC Bournemouth.

Lunin and Zabarnyi are their standouts at the back, and they are suitably protected by midfielders such as Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk) and Mykola Shaparenko (Dynamo Kyiv).

I think Ukraine will be a tough nut to crack, particularly for Romania's misfiring forwards, while the likes of Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea), Viktor Tsygankov and Pichichi Trophy winner Artem Dovbyk (both Girona) offer plenty of threat in attack.

Place an In-Play bet of £10 or more odds of 1/2+ on Romania v Ukraine or Belgium v Slovakia and get £5 in Free Bets to use In-Play on Austria v France.

You can read all our latest Football Bets of the Day at our dedicated Betfred Insights content hub. 

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