Germany vs. Ukraine: Nations League Top Teams Battle for League A Destiny

Both Germany and Ukraine are tied with the same number of points in group four leading up to the fifth round in the UEFA Nations League. In this game however, the German squad will certainly be the favorites. 

The 2020-21 Nations League group stage is steadily approaching its logical final. In the fourth quarter of League A, teams have two games left to ultimately decide which team will move forward to the playoffs and which will be relegated to the lower division. 

In theory, Germany and Ukraine, with their upcoming meeting on November 14 at 2:45 PM, could each still find themselves finishing either at the top or bottom of the division. 

Joachim Löw’s national team has shown a cool attitude towards the UEFA Nations League, but this has certainly not prevented sportsbooks from making Germany a very heavy favorite for the upcoming match. 

The status before the last two matches in Group 4 is rather difficult. Let's take a look at the situation as we have it here now:

PlaceTeamPointsGoal Difference
Remember that in the case of a draw at the top of the table, the tiebreaker will be the result of the first meeting between the two teams. In that regard, Germany is still ahead of Ukraine (2-1), while Ukraine is also still down to Spain (4-0). 

Ukraine: Andriy Shevchenko Shows no Fear

The Ukrainian National Team deservedly ended up in League A in the UEFA Nations League. In the last draw, Shevchenko’s team won Group 1 in League B with a solid record of three wins and only one loss. 

The Ukrainian team continues to delight with its performances in the elite division consisting of two wins and two defeats. In games where the goal difference was two or more, Ukraine has only one loss to Spain (4-0). 

Sportsbooks are certainly not known for taking risks and have given the (+1.5) spread advantage to Ukraine before the game in Leipzig against Germany. 

The thing we can be most sure about after four games into League A is that Ukraine and legend Andriy Shevchenko is not afraid of anyone. The National Team are going to play their style of soccer no matter who they are facing. 

The attacking side of the Ukrainian team is especially dangerous. Led by Ruslan Malinovskyi up the center of the field, and flanked on the wings by both Andriy Yarmolenko and Marlos, with Roman Yaremchuk heading the attack at striker. 

During the past 16 games at the official level in all tournaments, the Ukrainian team has only failed to score in two cases. 

The year 2020 has not spared its troubles for the Ukrainians however. Andriy Shevchenko is forced to compete while missing almost all of the players from the capital’s club Dynamo Kiev, due to a quarantine. 

Without the players from Kiev, the strength of the Ukrainian National Team has been greatly reduced. Likely for this reason, the team failed to score in a friendly match with Poland this week (0-2). 

For the entirety of 2020 , Ukraine only managed to score more than one goal in one of six matches. 

Since the last round of games in the Nations League, the Ukrainian National Team has played seven away games in official tournaments. The Ukrainians held 6 meetings against Germany, and more than three goals were scored in three games.

Germany: The Team Reforming

Like the situation with the Ukrainian team, Germany is in second place in Group 4 of the UEFA Nations League. In its last matchup, the Germans took the last place from the group of three and by all accounts should have been dropped into a lower division. Luckily, the format of the competition was changed, and the Bundesmannschaft is again in the elite division. 

However, the Nations League holds no real interest for Germany, Joachim Löw has remained calm about his team’s current stats, despite them not being the most pleasant: one win, five draws and two losses. 

The German head coach put an end to the debate this week about whether to return Thomas Müller or Jerome Boateng to the team. 

Right now I am planning to build a team without Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng

Thus, the mentor started another reform in the national team.

However, Löw has earned the right to any experiments he wishes to perform with the squad lineup. Over 14 years, the team has gained an average of 2.12 points per game. This ranks third on the all time results of the German team. Only Berti Vogts (2.20) and Jupp Derwall (2.17) have more. Germany has played some very interesting and efficient games in the current Nations League draw. The team has not suffered a single defeat in four games even though all four of them looked surte to have a winner. 

In the 21st century, Ukraine and Germany have held five head-to-head meetings earning three German wins and two draws. At the same time, both teams scored in four of the matchups. 

Match Prediction and Final Thoughts

The Ukrainians need to gain a foothold in League A, assert themselves as a top team and it is also not a bad deal to win and advance to the playoffs as well. This while Joachim Löw is only in the mood for scouting and experimenting with his current team. Therefore, Germany has been letting everyone score and pass in games that are not highly regarded in the country. 

In Leipzig, Ukraine will again play its favored style: nine players going forward, sharp counterattacks and a high press for opposing defenses. Shevchenko has perfected this style of play, and the only way it seems able to fail is by missing key players. Even without the city of Kiev, the tactics should work in Germany. 

Germany, of course, will have a varied attacking consisting of many different players and formations. Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Timo Werner and Leon Goretzka connecting from deep within can hack any defense. In the middle of the field, the injured Joshua Kimmich will be sorely missed. 

However in general, Germany can calmly beat Ukraine even in the composition that Lev has now called. But is it necessary to score three goals for this? So far in the League of Nations, the Germans have been able to score so much only in Switzerland.