However, Ukraine will steal that spot in League A if they prevail against opponents who they are meeting for the third time in as many months.
Below, we’ve collected a hoard of key stats for the game with info on shots, xG, cards, corners, fouls, goals and more for your reading pleasure. The data we’ve compiled should help you to attack the bet builder markets for Scotland’s clash with Ukraine with more venom.
In what usually amounts to a battle of the left-backs, captains Andrew Robertson and Oleksandr Zinchenko are out, as well as Kieran Tierney.
Midfielder Mykola Shaparenko picked up an ACL injury while playing for his club Fenerbahce and is a long-term absentee.
Ukraine generally could set up in a 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 formation under Oleksandr Petrakov. Watch out for left-sided attacker Mykhailo Mudryk tonight. The 21-year-old has been in dazzling form in the Champions League this season.
Scotland face a few big blows to the defense that held Ukraine at bay last week. Alongside captain Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney, defenders Nathan Patterson and Grant Hanley are withdrawn with injuries and even Scott McTominay is out suspended.
Billy Gilmour, Greg Taylor, Aaron Hickey and Ryan Porteous are set to deputise, with the latter earning his first international cap.
Ukraine are notching fewer shots on target p/90 (4.20) than Scotland in the Nations League, and their lower xG (1.46 vs 2.38) suggests they haven’t been creating better chances.
Ukraine have been winning very few corners (2.40 p/90), while their cards figures both for (2.80) and against (1.40) per 90 minutes suggest they may well out do Scotland in that department tonight.
Scotland have pocketed twelve points from fifteen on offer in Nations League B Group 1 and the underlying stats from their trio of assignments make for favourable reading.
Scotland are posting a healthy 5.20 shots on target and converting 2.20 goals p/90, while conceding just a goal a game at the opposite end. They’ve shown up their competitors in goals, xG, shots, shots on target and corners, and have also managed to rile up the opposition.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Experienced campaigner Andriy Yarmolenko is never shy about letting fly although has struggled to place them in the right direction – something frustrated West Ham fans can testify to. Atalanta star Ruslan Malinovskyi routinely racks up more attempts (3.89) overall and over 2 on target per 90..
Striker Artem Dovbryk (1.02 SOT p/90) is also worth watching in the final third as is winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. The Shakhtar Donetsk attacker hasn’t done enough to feature in the international stats just yet, however, he has been hitting 1.0 shots on target per 90 minutes in the Champions League this term.
Lyndon Dykes and Che Adams have been a great battle to watch for the starting place up top for the Scots. When Adams couldn’t score against Ukraine, Dykes came off the bench to score twice. They’ve both been averaging almost 4 shots on target p/90 and are the best in the team for shots on target.
John McGinn is also one to look out for, managing over 4 shots on target per 90, although only 1.15 on target.
Player Goals and Assists
Watch out for Artem Dovbyk tonight. The Dnipro-1 striker scored twice in Ukraine’s battering of Armenia last time out, and has now scored three times and assisted once in five Nations League appearances.
With Mykolenko exploring further forward as a wing-back, expect him to find some attacking space tonight. He’s scored already in this competition.
With four goal contributions in his last five appearances for Scotland, John McGinn has been in productive form, while Stuart Armstrong has matched that in the same period.
Lyndon Dykes, Che Adams and Ryan Christie have been involved in two goals a piece.
Taras Stepanenko (4.00 fouls p/90) and Ruslan Malinovskyi (1.73 fouls p/90) don’t mind lifting their studs when there is dirty work to be done in midfield, while Illyas Zabarnyi (2.00 fouls p/90) has already managed 2 cards in 3 runouts in defence.
John McGinn is never far from the carnage in midfield and alongside dishing out plenty of punishment himself, the combative Villa enforcer is often on the receiving end too (fouled 2.29 p90).
Full backs Aaron Hickey and Greg Taylor also draw a couple of fouls a game.
Match-Ups to watch
Vitaliy Mykolenko vs Aaron Hickey
Ruslan Malinovskyi vs John McGinn
Illyas Zabarnyi vs Ryan Christie
Jack Hendry, Ryan Christie and John McGinn all make over a foul per 90, with the latter being lucky to escape without a card in this competition.
Tonight, he might struggle to sneak under the referee’s radar given he averages a whopping 6.14 cards a game.
Ruslan Malinovskyi is a key play-knitter for Ukraine and John McGinn will likely be touch-tight to the Atalanta man when Scotland lose possession. The foul count could be interesting there.
Mykhaylo Mudryk has been fouled 1.50 times p/90 in the Champions League this term and Aaron Hickey could find it tough to match the winger for pace.
Match-Ups to watch
Aaron Hickey vs Mykhaylo Mudryk
Jack Hendry vs Artem Dovbyk
John McGinn vs Ruslan Malinovskyi
That’s all for this stats pack, I feel like I’ve done a Ukraine Scotland one pretty recently…
If you’re placing a bet builder, crack down on the numbers and you’ll boost your chances of a winner.