Ukraine, Austria Target Knockout Spot As Netherlands Face North Macedonia In Dead Rubber Game


Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine are just a point away from making the knockout stage for the first time after successive group exits in 2012 and 2016 as the team battle Austria today.

The two nations head into the meeting level on three points after both beating North Macedonia and losing to the Netherlands in their opening two matches, so a draw would almost certainly see both teams progress to the knockout stages.

“I trust my team and I’m very pleased with their attitude,” said Shevchenko. “It’s a very serious game and we are getting prepared accordingly.”

On the other hand, Austria had never won a European Championship match until they beat North Macedonia in their opener, but even a point would likely be enough to secure a last-16 spot as one of the four best third-placed teams.

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Coach Franco Foda has confirmed that Marko Arnautovic will make his first start of the tournament after serving a one-match ban for insulting Macedonian players while celebrating scoring as a substitute.

The winners will face Group A winners Italy at Wembley in the next round.

The other game in Group C is a dead rubber between the Netherlands, who are assured of the top spot, and already eliminated North Macedonia.

Veteran captain Goran Pandev, who scored the Macedonians’ first major tournament goal against Austria, will make his final appearance before retiring from international football.

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