Ukraine vs Scotland 2022: what result does Steve Clarke’s side need for Nations League promotion - prediction

They might not be going to the World Cup in Qatar, but the Scots still have something to play for in Poland on Tuesday night

Steve Clarke’s side put in an exceptional performance to avenge their World Cup play-off defeat to Ukraine with a 3-0 victory at Hampden Park before following that up with a gritty 2-1 win against Republic of Ireland in Glasgow.

The Tartan Army now head out on the road and it’s Poland that’s the destination as they once again take on Ukraine with top spot in League B, Group 1 up for grabs.

Here is what Scotland need to do to top the group, secure promotion and what that would mean for them:

What result do Scotland need for UEFA Nations League promotion?

Winning their last two matches means it’s advantage Scotland going into the final match with Ukraine, as a draw would be enough to secure promotion.

Scotland currently sit top of the group on 12 points while Ukraine are second with 10 points.

That means a win or a draw would ensure Scotland finish the group on top, but defeat would see Ukraine leapfrog them and finish one point better off.

Steve Clarke’s side have won four and lost one of their five Nations League matches so far while Ukraine have won three, drawn one and lost one.

What is on the line for Scotland?

Promotion to League A of the Nations League in 2024/25 will be the first reward if they can get the job tonight.

The Scots have never been in the top tier of UEFA’s newest competition and actually began the inaugural season as a League C team back in 2018.

There’s more than just that League A spot up for grabs though, although that already feels like a significant prize especially with rivals England having suffered relegation from the same tier.

Also on the line for Steve Clarke’s side is a guaranteed play-off semi-final for UEFA Euro 2024.

Scotland used the same route to great success to qualify for Euro 2020, earning a play-off via their Nations League Group C victory and beating Israel and Serbia to reach the finals.

However, Steve Clarke will be hoping that the play-off is a safety net rather than a prize and they can automatically qualify for the next major finals automatically through their qualifying group.

The final prize they will gain for winning their Nations League group this year will be a Pot 2 seeding for the Euro 2024 group stage draw.

The first matches of the groups are due to get underway in March 2023 and they will be drawn on October 9.

Scotland team news & prediction ahead of Ukraine fixture

Having lost Everton full-back Nathan Paterson to injury in the first Ukraine game, Steve Clarke will also now be without the services of Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney and Nottingham Forest’s Scott McKenna who have also withdrawn from the squad.

Both defenders have been in great form during the current international break, as has Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay who is suspended.

Southampton striker Che Adams and QPR counterpart Lyndon Dykes have been suffering from an unnamed illness and are doubts for the game in Poland.

Our prediction: Scotland’s injury problems are a concern and this one could be a much closer contest than last week’s meeting at Hampden Park. We’re back Steve Clarke’s side to get the job done, but only just, and predicting a 1-1 draw.