Germany vs Ukraine by Gustav
As almost every time, so in this European championship qualifiers, Germany managed to reach the final event relatively easily. They finished at the top of the table above opponents such as Poland, Ireland, Scotland and Gibraltar, with seven victories, one draw and two defeats. They ended up with twenty-two points, one more than second placed Polish national team and three more than Ireland.
In most recent matches before the start of EURO, they had two friendly matches but didn't specially impress. They actually disappointed a lot in a 3:1 loss to Slovakia, but then few days later managed to improve a bit and defeated Hungary 2:0, however still weren't completely up to their level. For this EURO, there's no doubt that the target is to reach the final at least, especially after winning the previous World Cup as they want to continue with the leading role in Europe as well.
They are now located in a fairly easy group for themselves and should reach the knockout stage without much problems. Surely a victory here is a must thing, as it would ease their process of qualifying. As for this match, central defender Matts Hummels is injured and won't be able to compete in the first round. Otherwise, Marco Reus was the last one to get removed from the squad due injury in last few days.
Ukraine didn't have that easy path to EURO and actually showed several faces during it, however still managed to get it somehow via additional play-offs. They ended up third in their group, finishing below Spain and Slovakia, having nineteen points in the end, three less than second placed Slovaks. They suffered three defeats in the process and had to enter the play-of stage against Slovenia.
The team prevailed 2:0 at home and had an easier game on the road ending it with 1:1 result which granted them the ticket for the final event. As for the friendly matches, the team did pretty well in recent games, winning against Romania 4:3 and Albania 3:1. Their offensive performance was good, but also with defensive gaps - still having in mind their their opponents weren't that quality and probably neither of these two will play important role at EURO.
Apart from Germany, their matches against Poland and Northern Ireland will determine their destiny in the group and the team surely has the quality to match next two opponents. Against the Germans, they surely need to improve defensive behavior and try to do something more via counter attacks. Lucky for them, they have no major problems making the starting lineup for this game as every player feels ready and fit.
Everything except an easy victory for the Germans would be a surprise for me. They are coming as one of the favorites and should make a strong impact in order to make their lives easier in next week.