Northern Ireland’s deficiencies were ruthlessly exposed by Poland in their Euro 2016 opener and I expect more misery against Ukraine today.
Ukraine also lost their first fixture as they succumbed to a 2-0 loss to Germany but they came out of that clash with a lot of credit and were arguably the better side for much of the first half.
Michael O’Neill’s men rarely threatened the Poles and tried to keep it as tight as possible but they cannot afford to adopt the same approach.
Poland played a narrow game and that allowed Northern Ireland to keep the score respectable but Ukraine’s main danger is on the wings in the shape of Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko.
Northern Ireland could well struggle to cope with the width and pace of Ukraine, and as they need to push for a result themselves they will be more susceptible to attacks on the counter.
Admittedly Ukraine did seem to tire against the Germans and that is a cause for concern but they can start strongly and my top bet is for Mykhaylo Fomenko’s men to be winning at half-time which pays out at 5/4.