Francesco Calzona’s side are out for back-to-back Euro 2024 victories on Friday. We look ahead to the clash in Düsseldorf with our Slovakia vs Ukraine prediction and preview.

Slovakia vs Ukraine Stats: The Key Insights

  • Despite disappointment on Matchday 1, Ukraine are the favourites as they beat Slovakia in 44.2% of Opta supercomputer pre-match simulations.
  • Slovakia have won just two of their eight meetings with Ukraine in all competitions (D3 L3).
  • Ukraine have lost their last two games at the tournament by three or more goals.

Slovakia secured the shock of Euro 2024 so far with their 1-0 opening victory over Belgium, leaving Francesco Calzona’s side in control of their Group E destiny ahead of Friday’s meeting with Ukraine.

Ivan Schranz proved the hero with his seventh-minute finish against Belgium, the world’s third-best men’s side according to the FIFA World Rankings, as Slovakia provided the first notable upset of the tournament on Monday.

That strike was Schranz’s fourth goal in 23 appearances for the national side, though the only Slovakian player to score more than once at a major tournament is Robert Vittek at the 2010 World Cup (four goals).

Veteran experience was a decisive factor in Frankfurt as Slovakia’s starting XI had an average age of 30 years and 229 days, the oldest by a team in a European Championship match since Italy’s last-16 victory against Spain in 2016 (30y 319d).

In goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka (35), full-back Peter Pekarik (37) and midfielder Juraj Kucka (37), three of Calzona’s team were aged 35 or older. It was the first time a side had named that many players aged 35+ in their Euros lineup since France in 2008 (Gregory Coupet, Lillian Thuram and Claude Makelele in two matches).

Slovakia were also aided on two occasions by the VAR in the second half, with Romelu Lukaku twice seeing equalising strikes ruled out.

Yet that will matter for little to Calzona as Slovakia triumphed for a 10th time in their last 14 outings across all competitions. Previously, their 10 prior wins before this came from 38 attempts.

Slovakia’s next aim will be winning two games at a single major tournament for the first time in history, having managed one victory at every one of their previous campaigns (2010 World Cup, Euro 2016, 2020 and this edition).

The Group E joint-leaders will know a point should almost guarantee their progression to the knockout stage when they meet an out-of-form Ukraine at Düsseldorf Arena.

Serhiy Rebrov’s side suffered an early blow at Euro 2024 after losing 3-0 to Romania in Munich.

After the 4-0 quarter-final defeat to England at Euro 2020, Ukraine have now lost their last two matches in the competition by three or more goals, having not suffered defeat by more than two in any of their first 10 games in the competition.

Nicolae Stanciu crashed in one of the best goals of the tournament so far with his curling opener on Monday, while Razvan Marin followed suit with another long-range finish. Denis Dragus sealed what was only Romania’s second-ever European Championship victory.

That drab showing ensured Ukraine extended the record of most games played in this tournament without keeping a single clean sheet (12), and Rebrov will have been disappointed with the attacking efforts as well.

Mykola Matviienko, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Illia Zabarnyi enjoyed the majority of control in defence as Ukraine managed 71.3% possession. They are the first side that Opta has on record (1980 onwards) to have more than 70% of the ball and ship three goals in a European Championship match.

Indeed, that possessional dominance did not translate into chances for the likes of Mykhailo Mudryk, Viktor Tsyhankov and Artem Dovbyk as Ukraine managed just two shots on target and an expected goals (xG) total of 0.55.

Mudryk ranked first for Ukraine for touches in the opposition box (7), shots from inside the box (2), successful dribbles (3), duels won (9), crosses attempted (6) and pressures applied to opponents (52), and Rebrov will be desperate for the Chelsea winger to help his side out of their slump.

Ukraine have lost two of their last three games (W1), as many as in their previous 14 matches combined in all competitions (W7 D5), and could lose on three occasions in a single month for the first time since November 2020 (3).

Slovakia vs Ukraine Head-to-Head

Friday will probably not be straightforward for Slovakia, who have won just two of their eight meetings with Ukraine in all competitions (D3 L3).

However, one of those triumphs was a 4-1 victory in the most recent encounter in November 2018. Albert Rusnák, Kucka, Adam Zrelak and Róbert Mak were all on target in that UEFA Nations League win.

Slovakia v Ukraine stats 2018 Nations League

Yet Ukraine have struggled in this meeting in recent times, too.

They have won just one of their four competitive meetings with Slovakia (D1 L2), beating them 1-0 in September 2018 thanks to Andriy Yarmolenko’s late penalty in the Nations League.

Slovakia vs Ukraine Prediction

Slovakia vs Ukraine Prediction

Despite their woeful performance against Romania, the Opta supercomputer backs a much-needed win for Ukraine in Düsseldorf.

Rebrov’s side triumphed in a convincing 44.2% of 10,000 pre-match simulations, with Slovakia’s victory chances ranked at just 28.6% in the data-led model.

A point apiece would only push Slovakia closer to the round-of-16 stage as that result was forecast in 27.2% of Opta’s predictions.

Slovakia’s unlikely win over Belgium means the supercomputer gives them a healthy 88.6% chance of reaching the last 16, while Ukraine manage the same in only 40.0% of simulations.

Slovakia vs Ukraine Squads


Henrich Ravas, Marek Rodák, Martin Dúbravka, Adam Obert, Dávid Hancko, Denis Vavro, Milan Skriniar, Norbert Gyömbér, Peter Pekarík, Sebastián Kósa, Vernon De Marco, Juraj Kucka, László Bénes, Matús Bero, Ondrej Duda, Patrik Hrosovsky, Stanislav Lobotka, Tomás Rigo, Tomás Suslov, Dávid Duris, David Strelec, Ivan Schranz, Leo Sauer, Lubomír Tupta, Lukás Haraslín, Róbert Bozeník.

Head coach: Francesco Calzona


Anatolii Trubin, Andrii Lunin, Heorhii Bushchan, Bohdan Mykhailichenko, Illia Zabarnyi, Maksym Talovierov, Mykola Matviienko, Oleksandr Svatok, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Valerii Bondar, Vitalii Mykolenko, Yukhym Konoplia, Andrii Yarmolenko, Heorhii Sudakov, Mykhailo Mudryk, Mykola Shaparenko, Oleksandr Zubkov, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Serhii Sydorchuk, Taras Stepanenko, Volodymyr Brazhko, Artem Dovbyk, Roman Yaremchuk, Viktor Tsyhankov, Vladyslav Vanat. 

Head coach: Serhiy Rebrov

Slovakia vs Ukraine Predicted Lineups

Slovakia Predicted Lineup vs Ukraine
Ukraine Predicted Lineup vs Slovakia

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