The co-hosts have been waiting a long time for the big kick-off, but Al Hain-Cole thinks that their in-form Scandinavian opponents may ensure a disappointing anti-climax in KievLast but not least, Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine finally kick off their maiden European Championship campaign with the final fixture in the first round of matches.
Oleg Blokhin’s men must be sick and tired of waiting, after waiting over two years without a competitive fixture and with only friendly matches to keep them occupied.
Having failed to qualify for an international tournament since their quarter-final elimination at the 2006 World Cup, Ukraine will be desperate to make up for lost time in front of their own fans.
The Yellow-Blues are favourites to get off to a winning start at 33/20 (2.65) with Panbet, no doubt thanks largely to their home advantage.
However, Ukraine have actually lost four of their last eight on home soil, and face a Swedish side who come into the tournament on the back of four consecutive victories.
With that in mind, odds of 19/10 (2.90) on Erik Hamren’s men spoiling the Ukrainian party seem rather attractive.
Poland's 1-1 draw against Greece on Friday means that none of the last four European Championship hosts have managed to win their opening matches, so another draw could well be on the cards at 23/10 (3.30).
The two sides actually met twice last year, with Sweden winning the most recent game 1-0 after Ukraine’s penalty shootout victory in the 1-1 draw six months earlier.
Their only previous encounter prior to these two matches ended in a tight 1-0 win for the former Soviet nation, so any victory tonight will probably not come easy.
As noted, Sweden seem the most likely thanks to their superior recent form and impressive qualifying campaign.
If the form book is to be believed then, a bet on a Swedish victory and under 2.5 total goals being scored looks like an extremely lucrative winner at an inviting 22/5 (5.40).
|Swden to win at 19/10 (2.90) with Panbet
||Sweden win and Under 2.5 goals at 22/5 (5.40) with PanBet
Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.
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