Home field advantage is really all Ukraine has going for it and that could be a big factor in an opening game. This is probably the least anticipated game of the first round of games in group stage but it could provide for a fun game as Sweden’s offensive minded scheme comes up against the counter attack tactics that Ukraine will probably deploy.
Why Ukraine will win
- Their wily coach and ex-Russia superstar, Oleg Blokhin, inspires his team to perform way above their capabilities and will employ tactics that keep Ukraine solid defensively and wait for the right opportunity to break against a suspect Swedish defense.
- Home field advantage. You saw the Polish crowd on opening day. This will be as loud and proud.
- Tymoshchuk, Gusev and Voronin are all talented players who can turn a game on their day.
Why Sweden will win
- The offensive talents of Elm, Elmander and Ibrahimovic will be too much for Ukraine
- Ukraine has a big question mark in goal and their best defender and former Barca man, Dmytro Chygrynskiy, is going to miss the tournament due to injury.
- Sebastian Larsson and Ibra are among the best short and long distance free kick specialists, respectively, in the world. Dead ball situations usually decide games in big tournaments such as these.
Pre-match prediction: Sweden 2 Ukraine 1
Sweden will win and this could be a shutout but I believe Voronin can sneak one. Ibra and Elmander to score for Sweden.