Preview: Spain Under-21s vs. Ukraine Under-21s – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s European Under-21 Championship clash between Spain Under-21s and Ukraine Under-21s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Spain Under-21s and Ukraine Under-21s will go head-to-head for first position in Group B on Tuesday, with both sides already booking their spot in the quarter-finals of the European Under-21 Championship.

Boasting a superior goal difference, Spain top the section ahead of second-placed Ukraine, and a draw would be enough for Santi Denia‘s side to secure their progression as group winners.

Match preview

Spain secured their position in the quarter-finals of this competition courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Croatia on Saturday, with Abel Ruiz netting the only goal of the contest inside the first minute.

La Rojita recorded a 3-0 win over Romania Under-21s in their competition opener, meanwhile, and a total of six points, four goals scored and zero conceded has left them at the top of the section.

Denia’s team would finish first in Group B if they avoid defeat on Tuesday, which would see them take on the runners-up in Group D in the final eight, which could be Switzerland, France, Norway or Italy.

Spain have a rich history in this competition, lifting the trophy on five occasions, with their last success coming in 2019, but they were knocked out in the semi-finals in 2021.

Boasting arguably the strongest squad at the tournament, Denia’s side will take some stopping when it comes to the crown, and they will be determined to secure first position in the group on Tuesday.

Ukraine, meanwhile, booked their position in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 1-0 success over Romania on Saturday, with an own goal from Victor Dican in the final exchanges securing the victory.

Ruslan Rotan‘s side opened their tournament with an impressive 2-0 win over Croatia, meanwhile, and they have now been victorious in three of their last four matches in all competitions.

Ukraine actually finished as runners-up at the 2006 edition of this tournament, reaching the final before losing to Netherlands Under-21s, but they have found it difficult to make an impression since.

Indeed, the national side failed to qualify for the 2007 and 2009 competitions before being eliminated in the group stage in 2011, and they were then absent in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021, so their spot in the quarter-finals with a match to spare represents an excellent performance.

Spain Under-21s European Under-21 Championship form:

Ukraine Under-21s European Under-21 Championship form:

Team News

Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga on February 12, 2023© Reuters

Spain boss Denia will be determined to secure first position in the section, so it seems unlikely that there will be wholesale changes to the XI for this match.

However, it would not be a surprise to see the manager freshen up his side with a couple of introductions, so Gabri Veiga and Hugo Guillamon could come in for starts.

Sergio Camello and Aimar Oroz are also among those pushing for spots in the XI, while Mario Gila will be hoping to earn another cap at some stage of the contest.

Ruiz, who joined Braga from Barcelona in 2020, has now scored 10 goals for the national side and will be hoping that his performances this summer could earn him a regular spot at senior level.

Ukraine, meanwhile, have no fresh injury concerns from their clash with Romania last time out.

However, the national team will be missing Vladyslav Vanat, who was sent off in the latter stages of the 1-0 victory on Saturday after being introduced as a substitute.

Chelsea attacker Mykhaylo Mudryk was an unused substitute against Romania last time out but could now come in for a start on the left of the Ukraine front three.

Spain Under-21s possible starting lineup:
Tenas; V Gomez, Paredes, Guillamon, Miranda; Veiga, Baena; Rodri, Sancet, S Gomez; Ruiz

Ukraine Under-21s possible starting lineup:
Trubin; Sych, Talovierov, Batagov, Vivcharenko; Bondarenko, Brazhko; Kashchuk, Kryskiv, Mudryk; Sikan

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We say: Spain Under-21s 2-1 Ukraine Under-21s

This has all of the makings of a very interesting match, and we are expecting an entertaining fixture on Tuesday evening. Both sides will be determined to secure first position in the group, and Ukraine are certainly capable of securing the win, but we just have a feeling that Spain’s quality will allow them to edge a close game.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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