Poland-Ukraine Betting Preview: Why a low-scoring first half looks likely in Warsaw

With two evenly matches sides who's recent competitive fixtures have been low-scoring affairs, Phil Kitromilides is backing a goal-less opening 45 minutes
The two co-hosts of last summer's European Championship meet in Warsaw on Friday with a place at next summer's World Cup in Brazil to play for.

While the prestige of hosting a major footballing event would have been enjoyed by the proud populations of each country, the fate of their respective sides in last summer's tournament would have gone down less well, with both teams failing to get out of the group stages.

Friday's match in the Polish capital is a chance then for both sides to banish the less than favourable footballing memories they share from their collaboration last year, and William Hill price Poland as the favourites at 6/5 (2.20) with Ukraine offered at 5/2 (3.50) to claim victory.

With Poland having comfortably won their last two home matches, and Ukraine victorious in each of their last two away games, this could be a tight  encounter.

The bookmakers certainly do not think goals will be on the horizon with under 2.5 goals in the game offered at just 1/2 (1.50).

In that case backing a low-scoring first half between two evenly matched sides in an important contest may well be the logical bet, and under 0.5 goals in the opening 45 minutes is offered at 6/4 (2.25).

Ukraine are not the attacking force they once threatened to be, while Poland's last four World Cup qualifiers at home have all been low scoring affairs. This bet seems a logical and well thought out selection and offers punters the chance of some healthy returns.

For a value bet the price of 21/10 (3.10) on a draw also looks to be an intelligent suggestion, particularly as a tight game looks to be on the cards.

Under 0.5 goals first half at 6/4 (2.25) with William Hill
The Draw at 21/10 (3.10) with William Hill

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.