WE asked Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) for his thoughts on the opening Euro 2016 play-off on Saturday.
Ukraine v Slovenia | Saturday 17:00 | Sky Sports 1
The Euro 2016 play-off results have so far been a little surprising. Not many people would have thought Hungary would go to Norway and win on Thursday while on Friday Republic Of Ireland looked (briefly) like they may win in Bosnia. I’d be surprised if this fixture threw up a surprise.
The Ukraine v Slovenia game looks the most one-sided out of the four with Ukraine the shortest price of the eight nations in action this week.
Pitted against Spain and Slovakia in their qualifying group, the Euro 2012 co-hosts won all six of their matches not involving these sides but struggled against the top two.
There’s no shame in that as we saw on Friday night when Spain swatted England away without a bother and Slovakia look one of the most progressive sides on the continent.
Against Luxembourg, Belarus and Macedonia Ukraine were ruthless with six wins out of six. In the process they conceded just one goal and looked like flat-track bullies. Can we put Slovenia in that bracket of sides?
Maybe that’s a bit harsh on them but the group Slovenia were drawn in looked more comfortable than what Ukraine had to deal with. Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino were the sides that finished below them and all three looked poor outfits. Estonia even dropped points against San Marino.
If Slovenia can reproduce their win over Switzerland early in the campaign and their 3-2 loss to England at home then they could threaten Ukraine but I’m hoping the home side ca flex their muscles here.
For me Ukraine look a class above Slovenia and that will hopefully tell on Saturday when they meet. I’ll back Ukraine -1 on the Asian Handicap at odds of 31/21 with BetVictor.
Ukraine v Slovenia – Ukraine -1 Asian Handicap (31/21 BetVictor)