Ukraine Premier League betting tips and odds

An informed punter has a width of knowledge at disposal and is always looking for better markets to get the most value. Doing this takes years of experience, but Betting Fellow is here to make your career in online betting easier.

To that end, we’ll be exploring some football leagues you might not be familiar with enough to bet on. One such league is the Ukranian Premier League. Professional football in this Eastern European country has been on the rise for years now, so betting on the Ukranian Premier League can be quite exciting and lucrative if you know what you’re doing.

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Premier League Standings

  • Team
  • MP
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • F
  • A
  • D
  • P
  • Last Five
  • 3
  • Zorya
  • 20
  • 11
  • 5
  • 4
  • 35
  • 14
  • 21
  • 38
  • W L L W W
  • 4
  • Desna
  • 21
  • 10
  • 6
  • 5
  • 33
  • 21
  • 12
  • 36
  • W L L W W
  • 5
  • Vorskla
  • 21
  • 9
  • 7
  • 5
  • 29
  • 18
  • 11
  • 34
  • W L W L W
  • 8
  • Dnipro-1
  • 21
  • 7
  • 4
  • 10
  • 30
  • 33
  • -3
  • 25
  • D W W W L
  • 9
  • Mariupol
  • 21
  • 5
  • 6
  • 10
  • 21
  • 34
  • -13
  • 21
  • L L D W L
  • 10
  • Inhulets
  • 21
  • 3
  • 10
  • 8
  • 20
  • 33
  • -13
  • 19
  • D W W L L
  • 11
  • Lviv
  • 20
  • 5
  • 3
  • 12
  • 19
  • 47
  • -28
  • 18
  • L W L L W
  • 14
  • Minai
  • 20
  • 3
  • 6
  • 11
  • 12
  • 35
  • -23
  • 15
  • L L D D L
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Ukraine Premier League Results

Round 21

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Round 20

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Round 19

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Round 18

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  • 28/04/2021
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Round 17

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Round 16

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Round 15

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Round 14

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Round 13

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Round 12

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Round 11

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Round 10

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Round 9

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Round 8

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Round 7

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Round 6

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Round 5

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Round 4

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Round 3

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Round 2

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Round 1

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Ukrainian Premier League History an General Info

Commonly referred to as the UPL, this is the highest-level competition league in Ukranian professional football. It was formed in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and included the best Ukranian association football clubs from the top three tiers of the Soviet football championship.

The UPL is ranked as the 10th-best national league in Europe by UEFA’s league coefficient system. This ranking is based on performances by the league’s individual teams during the last five years.

Up until 1991, all the best teams from Ukraine played as part of the Soviet Top League, the USSR’s national championship. Ukraine’s inaugural independent championship took place at the start of spring in 1992, although back then it was dubbed the Ukrainian Higher League.

Now, some of the country’s best teams also had titles in the Soviet era. However, since Russia is considered the Soviet Union’s political successor state, the Russian Premier League is considered a successor to the STL as well. Bear that in mind when we go over some of the teams’ records and titles.

In 1996 all professional-level football leagues were unified as members of the Professional Football League of Ukraine. However, as of 2008, the country’s top-flight league was withdrawn from the lower tiers, forming its own entity known as the Football Federation of Ukraine. It is thus established as it’s own independent football organization with its own set of laws and regulations. What followed was a period of the political divide between the clubs’ representatives and league management about various financial aspects. Still, the seasons proceeded as usual.

The Ukrainian Premier League is currently undergoing a lengthy expansion process. For starters, the 2020/21 season will consist of 14 teams, compared to the previous 12. This includes the 11 best-placed teams from the previous season plus 3 top-ranked teams from the Ukrainian First League. This process is expected to continue for the next few seasons. For instance, the 2021/22 season is planned to consist of 16 teams.

The league’s format consists of a round-robin system in two cycles. Basically, each of the teams plays every other team twice – once home and once away. This generally takes place between fall and spring each year. As with most such formats, each victory earns a team 3 points, while 1 point is awarded for draw games.

Prior to the 2020/21 season, the teams would be split into Qualification and Relegation playoffs. However, this is no longer the case. The Ukrainian Premier League’s format is now a simple double round-robin with no playoffs. This change makes the league conform to a more standard template that most European top-flight leagues use.

The two bottom-placed clubs are relegated to the First League, which is the second-tier league in Ukraine's system. However, only 1 team will be relegated for the next few seasons as the league expands. Additionally, 3 teams will be promoted every year to keep the number growing.

For most of the UPL’s history, it has heavily been dominated by two clubs: Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk. Tavriya Simferopol won the first championship back in 1992, and every single title since then has gone to one of these two clubs. Dynamo is considered the UPL’s “flagship team”, but 8 out of the past 10 seasons have been won by Shaktar.

The league’s all-time top goalscorer is SerhiyRebrov, who scored a total of 123 goals over 261 appearances, mostly playing for Dynamo Kyiv. The record for most appearances is held by Oleksandr Shovkovskiy with 426 total games played, again for Dynamo

Ukranian Premier League Title Challengers (2020 UPDATED)

To get a good sense of how to bet on the Ukranian Premier League, we must first understand the team rankings. Who are the favourites to outright win the championship, and why? As a starting point, we’ll use Ukranian Premier League betting odds, as offered by some of the world’s leading bookmakers.

Unsurprisingly, the traditional favourites will remain favourites for one more year. Specifically, Shaktar are expected to win at a price of just 1.22. This singles them out as hard favourites in almost every matchup. Dynamo Kyiv have considerably smaller chances of success at 4.33. The disparity between the league’s two leading teams is quite noticeable, which usually makes for a rather dull season.

The third team most likely to take the title according to experts and bookmakers are Desna Chernigiv. To be fair, though, at odds of 21 they’re not likely to take anything more than the third spot. In fact, it appears that a number 3 placement is the only spot up for grabs.

Dynamo Kyiv

Though Dynamo’s very name has come to be associated with top Ukrainian football, the past few years have been rocky for them. Of course, “rocky” in this context means that they haven’t managed to wrestle the title away from Shaktar for 4 years in a row. Based on previous performances, their chances of somehow winning this year seem slim.

To be fair, their international campaign in the Champions League seemed promising for a time, and they did manage to go toe-to-toe with Europe’s best and brightest. The problem is that Dynamo can’t afford to settle for anything less than a championship – a title which keeps eluding them.

Their lineup consists of the bulk of Ukraine’s national team, as opposed to Shaktar’s international powerhouse. Dynamo also have some standout players on the wings, such as the right-winger Viktor Tsygankov and left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko. In anticipation of the coming season, they’ve also welcomed Vladyslav Supryaga and Tudor Baluta on loan. However, those are pretty much the only notable transfers. This lack of changes makes it easy to see why the experts predict a repeat of the previous season.

Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar were always a table-topping team in the Ukraine Premier League, but are currently on a high-point. They’ve dominated the championship with consecutive victories for 4 years now. Even before that, they had a 5-season streak of titles. All of this does a great job of explaining the outright Ukrainian Premier League odds.

So how did this come to be? Well, for starters, Shakhtar boast an all-star lineup of young Brazillian players. This team has an expert network of scouts across South America, which finds promising young players are relays them to Europe. This method has proven to be effective both for financial reasons and sporting goals.

It’s hard to pinpoint a single weakness here: the wings are covered by the likes of Tetê and backs Ismaily and Dodô. Team captain Andriy Pyatov and defenders like Taras Stepanenko and Mykola Matvienko form one of the most formidable back lines in Eastern Europe. In fact, the roster lacks traditional goal-getters, instead focusing on build-up tactics with strong wings and a flexible midfield.

There are next to no notable transfers in the Donetsk camp. Why fix something when it works great?

Desna Chernigiv

We wouldn’t call Desna favourites for the title, strictly speaking. Their chances of pushing past Dynamo or Shaktar are slim to none. Instead, they seem like the most likely team to take 3rd place from where we’re standing. This might sound like a strange prediction for a team that was promoted for the first time in 2017/18. However, their main competitors for 3rd spot are Zorya Lugansk, who took it last year. The difference is that Desna have been recording improved results each season for 4 years in a row. There’s a clear upward movement here, whereas Zorya’s results are getting worse. The point difference in the 2019/20 season was just one point.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to talk about Desna on the same level as Shaktar or Dynamo. They have some local rising stars on their roster, such as midfielder Vladyslav Kalitvintsev and striker Dmytro Khlyobas – but most of the lineup seems a cut below the leading teams.

Ukranian Premier League Relegation Candidates (2020 UPDATED)

Now we’ll go over a few teams who seem the most likely to be relegated into the second-tier First League. This information is just as important for getting a good sense of the league, and thus important for Ukranian First League betting.

Rukh Lviv

The league is currently expanding to include more teams. While the process is ongoing, it will be difficult to determine which freshly promoted teams deserved to be there and which ones merely lucked out while the barrier was lower.

One way or another, all top-flight leagues are difficult if a team just got there. Rukh snagged the second table position in the 2019/20 First League, which is quite impressive for a team that has only been part of the professional league system for 4 years. Still, they are newcomers to the world of association football. We would all love a story about an amateur team rising up to the top, but reality rarely works out that way. As such, any fans Rukh might have don’t have a lot of reason to expect success in the UPL.

Inhulets Petrove

Speaking of relatively unknown teams who were recently promoted, Inhulets have only been on a professional club for a few years. They somehow managed to fight their way up to the finals of the national cup last year. Of course, they lost to Shektar badly, but it was still quite a feat.

That said, they don’t have a history of success in any league, much less the top-flight. Such a lack of evidence for consistency rarely ends well in a full league format.

Olimpik Donetsk

Unlike the previous two relegation favourites, Olimpik has a bit of a history in the UPL. The issue is that that history hints at prompt relegation. Their results have been on a downward slope since 2016, with each year being worse than the last. Considering they avoided relegation last season purely due to the format transition, the writing seems to be on the wall here.

The non-existent lineup changes also seem to be hinting at financial woes. Either way, Olimpik have their work cut out for them if they don’t fancy a return to the First League.

Ukranian Premier League Top Players (2020 UPDATED)

This section is devoted to the Ukranian Premier League’s best individual players.

Viktor Tsyhankov

At only 22 years of age, Tsyhankov is one of the most promising midfielders in Europe. He has spent his entire career as part of Dynamo Kyiv’s first eleven and is also a noted member of Ukraine’s national team. His contract with Dynamo will last until 2023, but world-class clubs are already lining up for a shot at adding Tsykanov to their roster, many hailing him as a prodigy.

Though the 8 goals over 20 appearances from last season are a noted drop from 2018/19, these statistics do not convey how impressive he is on the ball. Naturally two-footed, Tsyhankov is known for confidently powering through the opposing defence.

Ismaily

This prominent left-back has been a member of Shakhtar Donetsk’s squad since 2012. His full name is Ismaily Gonçalves dos Santos and he is one of the frontrunners of Shakhtar’s “Brazilian Revolution”. Ismaily has established himself as an absolute powerhouse among defenders in not only Ukraine but the whole of Europe.

Ismaily is a constant performer for Shakhtar and has remained part of this team despite numerous offers from clubs like Tottenham. Interestingly, he sometimes dabbles in playing as a forward, hinting at incredible versatility.

Ukrainian Premier League Rising Stars (2020 UPDATED)

Now, let’s take a brief look at some of the most promising young players in Ukraine’s top-flight league.

Tetê

Shakhtar's focus on Brazilian hopefuls started way back in 2005 – which doesn’t mean it ended. Signing this right-winger was a controversial choice in 2018, but has turned out to be a savvy choice. At only 20 years of age, Tetê has had a great impact on the team’s performance the previous season, and things are only looking to go up from here. Tetê checks all the boxes to be a cliché Brazilian superstar in a few years.

Vitalii Mykolenko

Playing in the right-back position of Dynamo Kyiv’s starting eleven, Mykolenko already has experience in the UEFA Youth League, where he was praised as one of the most distinguished young defenders. He’s showing patience and a tactically-oriented approach to the game that is usually seen only from more seasoned players.

Manor Solomon

The established dominance of ShaktharDonetsk has allowed many young players a chance to show their skills off in League matches, and Solomon is one of these. The Israeli left winger is already seeing considerable time in the pitch, as his ability to quickly transition into lightning-fast offences has not gone unnoticed.

Ukrainian Premier League Derby Matches

Klasychne Derby

Ukraine’s own answer to the Classico, this is the showdown between two of the country’s biggest and best teams: Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk. We’ve already spent quite a lot of dime illustrating the iron grip these two clubs have over the Ukranian Premier League, so the importance this derby has in Ukraine cannot be understated. It has its roots back in the Soviet era, and is only looking to be even bigger.

Donbas Rivalry

Another noted rivalry between Shakhtar Donetsk and Zorya Luhansk, the biggest teams out of the eastern region of the Donets Basin. Although the region is currently mired in conflict, it is also noted for producing generally better teams than Ukraine’s east.

Ukranian Premier League Best Stadiums

Olympic Stadium

A massive multi-purpose arena in the country’s capital of Kyiv, the Olympic National Sports Complex is Ukraine’s premier sports venue. With a capacity of 70,000 and a record attendance of over 100,000 in 1977, this stadium is the second biggest of its kind in Eastern Europe. It was designed to host the 1980 Olympics.

These days, it rarely serves for regular matches of Dynamo, whose home turf is here. Instead, it’s only for the largest of derbies and games by the Ukranian National Team. Metalist Oblast Sports Complex

This is the home ground of FC Metalist 1925 Kharkiv, although it currently also serves the same purpose for Shakhtar Donetsk. It has a capacity of 40,000 and can hold other sporting events, although it’s mostly used for football.

This stadium’s history dates all the way back to 1925, although it has been fully reconstructed several times since then.

Arena Lviv

The largest football stadium in Lviv, this arena was used as a venue for several UEFA competitions. It has a capacity of just under 35,000 and is the home ground of NK Veres Rivne and FC Karpaty Lviv.