The Fight Continues: Who Will Win the UPL in 2023/2024?

Fans of the Ukrainian Premier League are accustomed to the fact that there are always only two real contenders for the championship – Shakhtar and Dynamo. If you don’t take into account Tavria, which won the very first draw, other clubs managed to impose a maximum fight and take honorable silver. In most seasons there has only been one “upstart” – which is why the UPL 23/24 season looks extremely exciting, since here we have as many as five real contenders for the title!

It is possible that the teams will fight fiercely to determine the champion until the last round, regularly changing places. If you want to take part in this intriguing race as a fan, go to Azbukmeker and place your bet. We offer a brief overview of the chances of the main contenders, taking into account the proposed odds for their victory.

Shakhtar – 1.35

Bookmakers, it seems, have already believed in the Pitmen’s title – and completely in vain: the team from Donetsk spent the winter only in fourth place. However, there is a nuance: the orange-and-blacks have two matches left, and with both victories they become leaders in the table. But these points still need to be taken, and Dynamo (we’ll talk about him later), by the way, has a similar situation!

A certain optimism in Donetsk fans is inspired by the fact that for the first time in several years the club decided to make some noise in the transfer market, and how: it bought players, according to various sources, for about 25 or even 30 million euros. The amount for the realities of the current UPL is huge, but let’s be objective: there are no players over 21 years old, and the Brazilians (the two most “fat” transfers) never started playing at Shakhtar at full strength immediately. In a word, you can believe in the Pitmen, but it’s too early to hang gold and even silver medals on them.

Finally, Shakhtar is still busy in both the Europa League and the Ukrainian Cup – that is, they have to catch up with the schedule and play at least three additional matches, which complicates the task.

Dynamo – 3.75

There is intrigue in the table, but not in the odds – bookmakers believe that the main contenders for the championship are the same. Dynamo spent the winter in fifth place, but did not finish three whole games – like sworn friends from Shakhtar, with nine points scored they can lead the standings.

The team did not receive external reinforcement, and this is scary, but the club academy traditionally supplies talent to the first team, and the change of coach in the fall had a positive impact on the team. Unlike Shakhtar, the Kievans only have championship matches left – even though the three postponed ones need to be played out beyond the “program”, but they can not be scattered and persistently go towards the only possible goal.

Dnepr-1 – 6.0

Dnipro went into the winter break second in the standings, falling behind the leader only in additional indicators. At the same time, we keep in mind Shakhtar and Dynamo, who, unlike Dnepr-1, did not play all the required matches, and probably did not gain points.

In fact, expectations from the club would be higher if it weren’t for Kolomoisky’s problems with the law. A scandalous businessman can deny Dnepr-1 as much as he likes, but everyone understands: such a team cannot be financed sufficiently by the people who nominally own it. The result is no noticeable transfers in the winter, and unclear prospects in the spring. The only plus is that the Dnieper team has a relatively simple calendar: they were eliminated from the Cup and European Cups, and there are no postponed matches in the UPL.

Krivbass – 9.0

The team became the winter champion (if you don’t take into account Shakhtar and Dynamo), but the skeptics are relentless: the fairy tale will end sooner or later. An excellent coach who has proven his professional suitability in several different clubs, and rumors of support from the president of the country himself do not affect the opinion of bookmakers. If we were in their place, we wouldn’t write off the Krivoy Rog residents so easily.

Krivbass has never been known for high-profile transfers, and its strength lies primarily in Yuri Vernidub. To achieve success, the team just needs to show their best game – the Krivoy Rog team no longer has any other tournament goals other than the UPL.

Polesie – 15.0

The club from Zhitomir is an example of how normal funding in the current realities helps break up the UPL. This is one of the few teams capable of paying for players, not even the smallest sums – it’s far from Shakhtar, but the owner of Polesie can pay a million euros for one player. Even before the start of the season, the Zhytomyr team was predicted to have a sensational performance, and so far they have not disappointed, having spent the winter in third place.

Polesie has no postponed matches in the UPL, but continues to fight in the Cup; However, there are a maximum of two games, so the calendar will not be much more compact. To say that this particular team will become the champion is a rather bold statement, but the bookmakers are also wrong in not believing so much in the prospects of the club from Zhitomir.

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