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Having qualified automatically, the co-hosts have been taking their friendlies seriously. Adam Bate expects them to start well in Austria but believes the game will finish a draw

Ukraine curiously continue their preparation for this summer’s European Championship, in which they will play all their group games on home soil, by travelling to Austria to take on Estonia.

The Euro 2012 co-hosts have not had the benefit of a qualifying campaign but have been in much-improved form, winning four of their last five games.

Oleg Blokhin’s side look a far better prospect than the team that lost four on the bounce in 2011.

You can back Ukraine to win here at 4/11 (1.44) with Bet365.

Their opponents Estonia only missed out on Euro 2012 after losing a play-off to the Republic of Ireland, although they were well beaten after crumbling 4-0 in the home leg.

Since then they have had a win against El Salvador and suffered a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Croatia on Friday.

Estonia are 7/1 (8.0) to cause an upset and win this one.

Those odds might be tempting given the results we have seen at the weekend.

Germany and Netherlands were beaten by European sides who failed to qualify for this summer’s tournament, while France went 2-0 down to Iceland before staging a comeback.

Friendlies can be unpredictable and, in that context, a draw for Estonia at 15/4 (4.75) would not represent a huge shock.

If that happens you may wish to consider the good price of 8/1 (9.0) with Bet365 that is on offer for a 1-1 draw.

But Ukraine are become accustomed to friendlies with the lack of qualification matches these past two years, and they know how valuable they will be in terms of competitive preparation.

They also triumphed 2-0 when these sides met in October and you can back a repeat of that result at 6/1 (7.0).

But for the pick of the bets, consider the fact that Estonia have been losing at half-time in 11 of their last 14 games, including against the Faroe Islands and Northern Ireland.

In contrast, Ukraine have led at half-time in their last five games.

The best bet is to back Ukraine to lead at half-time at 10/11 (1.91) with Bet365.

Blokhin’s men are not so reliable after the interval, though.

While Germany came back from 3-1 down to draw, Ukraine also lost to Uruguay last year after scoring first and, amazingly, suffered a 4-1 reverse against France despite leading 10 minutes into the second half.

The Ukrainian team have an obvious tendency to fade, so for the value bet back Ukraine/Draw at HT/FT at 18/1 (19.0) with Bet365.

Ukraine to lead at HT at 10/11 (1.91) with Bet365
Ukraine/Draw at HT/FT at 18/1 (19.0) with Bet365

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on

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