Match Preview

PMB: Chelsea v Dynamo Kiev - matchday

The final part of the Pre-Match Briefing gets you ready for today's game...

• Chelsea are the fourth-highest scorers left in the competition with 17 goals in eight games, and face Dynamo goalkeeper Denys Boyko, who has had to make the second-most saves of any team still in contention. Olivier Giroud has found the net in his last five Europa League games, and no side in this competition has conceded more times from set-pieces than Dynamo with six. Alongside that, Chelsea have been awarded the most corners in the campaign, while only three sides left in have given away more fouls than the Ukrainians.

• With the quality of opposition improving, Maurizio Sarri will hope his side tighten up at the back after conceding in two of the last three European matches. David Luiz, rested at the weekend, is likely to come back into the fray although Andreas Christensen is the only Chelsea man to play all 720 minutes in the Europa League to date. The coach has said he will rest some players after a hectic few weeks.


• As Napoli coach in the 2016/17 Champions League group stage, Sarri drew 0-0 at home and won 2-1 away to Dynamo, with Jorginho in his midfield in Kiev. Meanwhile, Willian may find an extra motivation for this tie. The Brazil midfielder was voted Ukraine’s player of the year while with Dynamo’s deadly rivals Shakhtar, where he won the league four times and the Ukrainian Cup on three occasions, beating tonight’s visitors in the last two finals.


THREE IN ONE QUIZ


• Under coach Olexandr Khatskevych, Dynamo Kiev play defensively and attack with pace down the flanks. Right-wing danger man Viktor Tsyhankov, 21, has notched two goals and four assists in this competition to date and can be deadly from free-kicks, but elsewhere Dynamo’s attack have problems. Slovenia winger Benjamin Verbic, their leading goalscorer, is suspended tonight, while January signing Fran Sol, a centre-forward who hit the ground running with two goals in three games, is now out of this tie with a shoulder injury.

• Their alternative strikers are young: Nazariy Rusyn, 20, and Artem Biesiedin, 22, have figured little in this competition to date. Team selections for Saturday’s edgy 2-1 win at Desna suggested Verbic’s absence could be filled by Mykola Shaparenko moving across from centre to left. Left-back Ferreira Pereira Sidcley can also push forward, or teenager Heorhii Tsytaishvili is a more attack-minded option.

• There was better news for tonight’s visitors at centre-back, where strong-in-the-air Tamas Kadar came off the bench on his return from injury. His experience, partially gained at Newcastle and Huddersfield, is vital to Dynamo’s defence. Midfielders Vitaliy Buyalskyi, Denys Harmash and Serhiy Sydorchuk are veterans of our previous encounters in 2015.


Maurizio Sarri's pre-match quotes


‘We have to play the first game at home and the second game away but my team is good enough to win at home and to win away.

‘We know very well the two matches will be difficult, Dynamo are a good team, physical, young, dangerous on the counter-attack because they have two very fast wingers so we need two good performances, but our target is to play the same football at home and away.’

Dynamo boss Olexandr Khatskevich’s pre-match quotes

‘It's always 50-50 before the game. We will not change our system [to three-man defence]. Kadar feels good but he has missed a lot. We have only one forward and five defenders [available for this game] so every man counts.’

 

The Man in the Middle

Referee Slavko Vincic and his four assistants are all from Slovenia. The 39-year-old has never previously handled a Chelsea match.

 

Matchday weather outlook

Rain showers and wind in west London tonight.

 

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