Teams: Dynamo Kyiv, FC Barcelona
Tournament: UEFA Champions League Group G, Round 4
Venue: Stadion NSK Olimpiyskiy, Kyiv
Time and Date: November 25th, 2020, 9:00 PM CET
Referee: Matej Jug
Match Preview – Dynamo Kyiv Vs FC Barcelona
The UEFA Champions League is back for Barcelona with a return fixture against Dynamo Kyiv. It comes just two days after a disappointing 1-0 La Liga loss at Wanda Metropolitano against Atlético Madrid. Barcelona will travel with a 19 man squad to Kyiv and will be looking to seal a spot in the Knockout fixture of the Champions League with a win, with two games still to be played.
Barcelona’s performance against Atlético in the last match has raised a lot of questions on the chemistry between the players on the pitch. With Messi and Griezmann passing the ball to each other only thrice and there was an evident lack of spark between the tired Barcelona players.
Koeman’s Barcelona is top of Group G whereas Dynamo Kyiv is in the third position with 1 point in 3 matches.
With Barcelona and Juventus favorite to qualify from Group G, Dynamo will be looking for the third position which will assure a Europa League position for them. A win against Barcelona will keep their hopes alive for the top-two position, but Juve is expected to win against Ferencvaros who are at the bottom of Group G.
Barcelona’s disappointing performances in the domestic league concerns the fans as the Catalan giants have never picked up fewer points (11) from the first eight matches since the 1995-96 season. Koeman’s side will travel to Kyiv looking to revive their morale by securing a knockout spot in the Champions League.
Dynamo Kyiv Champions League): WWWLDL
Dynamo Kyiv (all competitions): WDWLLW
Barcelona (Champions League): DWLWWW
Barcelona (all competitions): LWDWWL
Head to Head:
Total encounters: 9
Barcelona Win: 6
Dynamo Win: 3
Pique injured in the match against Atlético
Barcelona’s clash against Atlético caused more problems for the Catalan giants as Piqué has endured two injuries. A sprain that needs at least three months to recover, and the ligament injury which needs to be further evaluated. If the ligament needs to have surgery, it would mean at least eight months of recovery time.
Sergi Roberto has a rupture in the right femoral rectus of his right thigh. He will be sidelined for roughly two months.
Dembélé, who was the best player against Atletico Madrid, suffers from some discomfort in his shoulder. The club, however, feels it’s nothing, and Koeman counts on him for the game against Kyiv midweek.
Koeman looked under tremendous pressure in the Press Conference.
When it comes to the press conference, Barcelona boss Koeman was straightaway asked a tough question. “Are you happy with your start as a Barça coach?”
He reacted very honestly, and he said,” No, I’m not happy. As a coach of Barcelona, we have lost a lot of points. But looking ahead, the games we have to come, many of them at home, I am optimistic. I’m happy with the work we’re doing, but unhappy with the points.”
Koeman’s response comes after another domestic loss for the Spanish giants and his appearance in the press conference was evident on the amount of pressure he has as a Barcelona coach.
Koeman justified resting the two big names. He said, “We won’t be taking Leo or Frenkie because the situation in the Champions League is quite comfortable for us, with the points we have so far. And these players needed to rest, and we feel this is a good moment to do that.”
The Barcelona coach was then asked about the availability of Umtiti, and for the first time, he responded with a time that Umtiti would be fit to play. He said that he hopes in 2 weeks he will be ready to play.
Squad List for Kyiv Vs Barcelona
There are some big absentees in the squad list provided to the media by Ronald Koeman, and the big names include Leo Messi and de Jong. Leo Messi probably needed the rest given his busy travel schedules and the number of matches he has played in recent days.
But quite surprisingly, de Jong, who we thought would be used as a Center Back after Pique being out because of injury, is also rested for the Champions League clash against Kyiv.
21-years-old Óscar Mingueza will be traveling with the team to Kyiv as a replacement for Gerard Piqué. It will be an excellent opportunity for the youngster to win the trust of Barcelona’s boss and securing a spot in the first team. Along with all the crisis and injuries, one positive is that there will be an injection of youngsters to the squad.
Matheus Fernandes is also included in the squad, but given the range of options of midfielders, he’ll probably not be featuring in the game against Kyiv. Puig and Aleñá will be ahead of Fernandes for playing the Champions League game.
Ansu Fati will not be able to feature in Blaugrana colors for four months after the surgery. Busquets and Ronald Araújo will also remain on the sidelines through injury.
Even though many players are not traveling to Kyiv due to injuries and Messi & de Jong being rested, I genuinely believe that this injection of young players in the squad will help the team. When it comes to the starting lineup, there are big decisions for Koeman to make. It’ll be interesting to see how the team performs with the inclusion of such young talents.
I believe that we’ll have a good game in Ukraine and the young talents will take advantage of the opportunity they’re given. I’ll go with Dynamo 1, FC Barcelona 3.