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Ukraine vs. France: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 15:  A laser is directed at the head of Philippe Mexes (R) of France as he celebrates victory with team-mate Adil Rami after the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Ukraine and France at Donbass Arena on June 15, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2016

Ukraine and France will kick off their two-leg playoff on Nov. 15 in Kyiv, Ukraine with a trip to the World Cup on the line. 

France will host the second leg on Nov. 19, and the team that wins on aggregate will advance to Brazil.  

It is surprising that France is even in this position. Les Bleus have the talent to avoid it.

Didier Deschamps has the likes of Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba and Karim Benzema at his disposal. However, France finished second to Spain in Group I and now must win this playoff to make the trip to Brazil. 

Ukraine finished runners-up to England in Group H by just one point and now finds itself in this playoff. It is not an unfamiliar position for Ukraine.

Ukraine has missed out on three World Cups since 1998 by way of playoff defeat.

These two nations have met twice since 2011. France has won both contests. The first came in 4-1 fashion in a friendly on June 6, 2011. The second came at the UEFA European Championship last year when France prevailed, 2-0. 

 

First Leg

When: Nov. 15 at 2:45 p.m. ET/6:45 p.m. GMT

Where: Olimpiysky Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine

TV Coverage: TV5Monde (check here for more international coverage)

Live Stream: ESPN3

 

Key Storyline: Will Either Team Score? 

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 26:  Hugo Lloris of France during a FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier between France and Spain at Stade de France on March 26, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

While France is understandably favored to win this playoff, goals are going to be tough to come by. That is especially true in the first match in Ukraine. 

The recent defensive prowess of both sides is intimidating. Ukraine has kept seven clean sheets in a row, and France has not conceded a goal in any of its last five fixtures. 

However, France's attack has sprung to life as of late. The French scored a combined seven goals in their last two World Cup qualifiers and have scored 13 goals in their last three matches in all play. 

Meanwhile, Ukraine prefers a possession approach that is not ripe for a lot of goals. 

Ukraine has netted 18 goals in its last four matches (all World Cup qualifiers). However, in the two matches that weren't against San Marino, Ukraine has just one combined goal. 

 

Prediction: France 1, Ukraine 0

Ukraine's patient style will help it keep the score down, but it will also not create enough chances for Ukraine to crack France's stingy back line. 

Meanwhile, France has been finding a fluidity on its attack that will allow the French to create one goal. And while that is just one goal, it will loom largely as this playoff heads to France. 

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