Champions League is back once again, as Barcelona turn hosts this time. The Camp Nou welcomes the Ukrainian runner-ups Dynamo Kyiv for the third matchday of the season. Here’s the preview of the match between Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv.
Date and kick-off time: Wednesday 4 November 2020, 21:00 CET
Stadium: Camp Nou
Competition: UEFA Champions League, Group Stage, Matchday 3
Referee: Michael Oliver
Barcelona return to action once again in the space of three days. The Catalans escape the winless run of La Liga to enter the winning stage of the UCL. The Champions League group G is perfectly poised for Barça to top the table. With two wins in two games, the Blaugranas have a three-point lead at the top with an adequate goal difference.
Ronald Koeman‘s side host a COVID-19 plagued Dynamo Kyiv side at the Camp Nou. The visitors have one point from the two games this season, drawing against Ferencváros by giving away a two-nil half-time lead. With almost nine players sidelined due to the Coronavirus infection, the Ukrainian side face an immense hurdle ahead.
The game was labelled a doubt till today has been given the clearance to go ahead as scheduled after the remaining squad of the capital outfit tested negative for the virus.
❗All the Kyiv players who took the PCR test today tested negative for coronavirus. The game will take place tomorrow. [rac1]— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) November 3, 2020
The hosts come into this game on the back of a draw away at Deportivo Alavés which ended a goal apiece. After an impressive performance in Turin, Culés expected the Catalans to get back to winning ways in La Liga. But, the lack of finishing touch and a moment of mishap cost the team the two more points. However, they will look to extend their winning run in this competition at least.
Image via Imago
The visitors come into this game on a winning note in their league. After going behind in the 22nd minute, Dynamo Kyiv scored twice before the half-time to complete the comeback. Despite their player absences, they remain unbeaten, and top of the Ukrainian Premier League. They will look forward to changing their fortunes in this tournament.
What to expect from Barcelona?
Every time Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona take a step forward, they seem to instantly move a step behind. After each of the two impressive wins in the Champions League, their returning game in the league was a disappointment. While creating chances has not been a big problem, converting them has been. Without a natural striker in place, there is no focal point in attack, and no one else takes shots positively.
“Our goal tomorrow is to play good football and create a good amount of chances with converting.”Ronald Koeman | Pre-match press conference
The lack of quality shots has been the reason for Barça’s less-than-impressive display against the underdogs who take their chances. None of the players boldly shoot and always look for a pass, even inside the box. This results in over-complication and the opponents crowding and reducing shooting angles. The Dutchman would want his team to have a go at goal, once in sight, to bring back the mojo.
Gerard Piqué is back in action after serving his suspension and will partner Clément Lenglet in defence. Jordi Alba will continue at left-back with Sergiño Dest back in the starting eleven. Marc-André ter Stegen is yet to get his medical green-light but is a possibility for the game. Young Pedri should be back in the eleven after sitting out last time with a chance to rest one or two senior players.
What to expect from Dynamo Kyiv?
Mircea Lucescu is one of the most experienced coaches in the UEFA Champions League. With over 100 matches under his belt, the Romanian is seasoned and currently the oldest to manage in the competition.
He took over the Ukrainian side only this summer, with no shortage of controversy. Lucescu’s former connection with rivals Shakhtar Donetsk caused outrage among the fans with him almost coming to the verge of resigning.
Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images
However, the club and the manager patched things up, and the 75-year-old has been there for almost six months now. One of the most decorated coaches in the country, Dynamo Kyiv would expect him to lead them to the summit again.
With the lack of personnel, it is quite difficult for the manager to implement his ideas. The team prefers to play short and quick passes but are not afraid to play one behind the opposition backline. A squad of relatively young players, they are one of the most exciting sides in the country. They are however prone to a few mistakes at the back which costed them during their last game in the UCL.
Previous games: DLWLD
Deportivo Alavés 1–1 Barcelona | La Liga
Juventus 0–2 Barcelona | UEFA Champions League
Barcelona 1–3 Real Madrid | La Liga
Barcelona 5–1 Ferencváros | UEFA Champions League
Getafe 1–0 Barcelona | La Liga
Position in La Liga
8 points in 6 games
2 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses
10 Goals Scored, 6 Goals Conceded
+4 Goal Difference
FC Dynamo Kyiv
Previous games: WDWLW
SC Dnipro 1–2 Dynamo Kyiv | Ukrainian Premier League
Ferencváros 2–2 Dynamo Kyiv | UEFA Champions League
Dynamo Kyiv 1–0 Olexandriya | Ukrainian Premier League
Dynamo Kyiv 0–2 Juventus | UEFA Champions League
Rukh Lviv 0–2 Dynamo Kyiv | Ukrainian Premier League
Position in Ukrainian Premier League
20 points in 8 games
6 wins, 2 draws and 0 loss
17 Goals Scored, 4 Goal Conceded
+13 Goal Difference
Dynamo Kyiv 1–2 Barcelona | UEFA Champions League 09/10
Barcelona 2–0 Dynamo Kyiv | UEFA Champions League 09/10
Barcelona 4–1 Dynamo Kyiv | UEFA Champions League 93/94
Dynamo Kyiv 3–1 Barcelona | UEFA Champions League 93/94
- Barcelona are undefeated in 21 of their last 23 matches (Champions League).
- Barcelona have scored at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches (Champions League).
- Dynamo Kyiv have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches (Champions League)
Injured: Samuel Umtiti (knee), Philippe Coutinho (Hamstring)
Doubtful: Marc-André ter Stegen (Tendon)
Dest · Piqué · Lenglet · Alba
Pjanic · de Jong
Messi · Pedri · Fati
Coach: Ronald Koeman
🗣 — Koeman: “Ter Stegen trained with the group and he is feeling great. He will train with us tomorrow, and we will see if he can make the squad list or not.”— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) November 3, 2020
FC Dynamo Kyiv
Injured: Mykyta Burda, Volodymyr Kostevych
Suspended: Serhiy Sydorchuk
Unavailable: Mykola Shaparenko, Denys Boyko, Vitalii Mykolenko, Georgi Bushchan, Tudor Baluta, Heorhiy Giorgi Tsitaishvili, Oleksandr Karavaev, Denys Harmash, Mikkel Duelund
Tymchyk · Zabarnyi · Popov · Kedziora
Tsygankov · Andriyevskyi · Shepelev · Pena
Coach: Mircea Lucescu
With more than ten players missing for the visitors, it is understandably hard for them to come to the Camp Nou, and give a fight against Barça. However, knowing the veteran Mircea Lucescu, Dynamo Kyiv will give their best no matter what. For Barcelona, this game should be a chance to get back to winning ways and hopefully extend their lead at the top of the group.
Barça Universal Prediction: 4-1 win for the Catalans.
Preview: Barcelona’s strongest XI against Real Madrid
The title race is well and truly wide open. With Atletico Madrid still leaking points and Real Madrid trying to cope up with the tight schedule the Champions League brings with it, Barcelona would hope to be the favourites.
Barcelona travels to Madrid to face a team missing some big names. Sergio Ramos, Rafael Varane, Eden Hazard and Daniel Carvajal all miss out on the decisive clash. Nevertheless, if Los Blancos‘ performance against Liverpool is anything to go by, El Clasico will be a battle to remember. Meanwhile, Barcelona will once again have the services of Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto.
The result on Saturday will count for so much in the title race. In this creme-de-la-creme of clashes, here is how Barcelona could lineup against Real Madrid.
Marc Andre ter Stegen is always the first name on the list for Ronald Koeman. At the Alfredo de Stefano, the German wall will don the gloves and aim to keep the Madrid attack at bay.
Gerard Pique finds himself back in the Squad, however, it seems unlikely he will be given a start considering lack of match fitness. The three-man defence system has worked wonders for the Catalans, and Koeman will not look to change the system. A trio of Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza, and Clement Lenglet could possibly start on Saturday.
Oscar Mingueza has been rock solid and on a constant rise. With every passing game, the youngster’s confidence grows, and so does the performance. Meanwhile, Clement Lenglet had a tremendous game against Real Valladolid, hardly placing a foot wrong. The Frenchman finally looks to be hitting his stride. Ronald Araujo is fit and ready to start once again and will have to be the leader on the field on the night.
The midfield is where the game will be won or lost for Barcelona. The hosts boast of one of the most fearsome trios in midfield, who reiterated their greatness against Liverpool midweek.
Up against Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, it will be crucial for Frenkie de Jong to start in midfield. The Dutchman is one of the best in the business in controlling the tempo of the midfield.
The No.21 will be accompanied by Barcelona’s veteran maestro Sergio Busquets. Busquets will account for so much of controlling the midfield. Moreover, his distribution and defensive contributions will be invaluable.
Pedri will complete the midfield alongside the others. The recently internationally capped Spaniard will have to be on the top of his game at the di Stefano. He will be the fulcrum of Barcelona’s creative outlet.
Sergino Dest did face stagnation in performance last month. In the last few games, however, there has been a resurgence. The USMNT fullback has been more lively than ever in attack and has been completing take-one for fun. It will be crucial for him to exploit the right-wing on the night.
Jordi Alba will unsurprisingly continue to start at left wing-back. With Real Madrid being weakened at right-back, Alba will have his chance on a platter to once again come up trumps.
Ousmane Dembele has often been Koeman’s go-to option as a central player in the new formation. Once again, a two-man forward line could see the Frenchman return to duties in the front line.
Lionel Messi had a relatively quiet game against Valladolid, his first one in 2021. However, he will look to step up on the biggest stage in El Clasico, as he always does. The Argentine has been at the peak of his powers this year, and he could inspire the side to another title with a great game tonight.
Dembele · Messi
Alba · Pedri · Busquets · de Jong · Dest
Lenglet · Araujo · Mingueza
Antoine Griezmann, who recently welcomed his third child, will be more motivated than ever to return to his peak powers. The Frenchman undoubtedly has a celebration or two in store for the latest member of his family and will hunt for a chance to showcase it on Saturday.
Fransisco Trincao could come on for Ousmane Dembele late in the second half to bring in fresh legs. His intricate dribbling could prove invaluable on the night.
Ilaix Moriba could be utilized to ramp up the pressure in the midfield, while Riqui Puig is bound to get a few minutes as well.