Dynamo Kyiv vs. Manchester City
UEFA Champions League: Round of 16 first leg
Venue: NSK Olimpiyskiy
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Kick off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
The 27-time Ukraine champions are on a nine-game unbeaten run in UEFA competitions, stretching back to February 2014. Serhiy Rebrov’s side won 2-0 when these teams last met on home soil back in 2011.
Despite looking to progress to the latter stages of the competition, City have underwhelmed of late. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have lost their last three competitive outings, crashing out of the FA Cup and losing ground in the title race.
The English club needs to return to form quickly if they are to maintain their pursuit of the Champions League. This match is expected to be won in the midfield, with both teams strong through the middle, the battle could be decided out on the wing.
The two times English Premier League winners are favorites here and determined to progress past the Round of 16.
Dyn. Kyiv’s Ukraine Premier League record: P16– W14– D1– L1
Man. City’s La Liga record: P25– W14– D5– L7
Dyn. Kyiv’s Recent form (all competitions): W-W-W-W-W-W
Man. City’s Recent form (all competitions): L-L-L-W-W-W
Head to Head Stats:
IUC 17-03-2011 Manchester City 1 : 0 Dynamo Kyiv
IUC 10-03-2011 Dynamo Kyiv 2 : 0 Manchester City
Dyn. Kyiv team news:
- Oleksandr Rybka is Serhiy Rebrov’s only injury concern, meaning Oleksandr Shovkovskiy is set to start between the sticks.
- Vitaliy Buyalskiy, Danilo Silva, Nikita Korzun and Serhiy Rybalka are a booking away from a ban.
- Vitorino Antunes serves a one-match suspension, with Domagoj Vida expected to deputise at right-back once again.
Man. City team news:
- Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, Bacary Sagna and Wilfried Bony are all missing the trip to Ukraine capital due to injury.
- Defender Eliaquim Mangala is available having returned from injury, but is unlikely to start here.
Dyn. Kyiv predicted starting line-up: Shovkovskiy; Danilo Silva, Khacheridi, Dragovic, Vida; Rybalka, Garmash, Gusev, González, Yarmolenko; Moraes.
Man. City predicted starting line-up: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, Fernando; Silva, Touré, Sterling; Agüero.
Players to watch:
Andriy Yarmolenko – The Ukrainian international, has been heavily linked with a move to England as several Premier League clubs have shown interest over the past few seasons.
He sustained an ankle injury early on against Maccabi Tel Aviv FC and did not feature in any of Dynamo’s friendlies during the winter break. The 26-year-old is on of the brightest stars at the Ukrainian club and has had a hand in 21 goals in 22 appearances this season.
Sergio Aguero – Arguably one of the best finishers in the world, he has struggled this season due to injuries. However, when he’s healthy, he is a real threat to the opposition. The 27-year-old has made 19 Premier League appearances this season and scored 14 times. The Argentine international should be the major factor if City are to return from Ukraine victorious.
Match facts (via UEFA):
- Dynamo have not played a competitive game since they defeated Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC 1-0 on matchday six.
- Mykola Morozyuk ruptured knee ligaments in late January and was subsequently ruled out for around three months.
- Oleksandr Rybka underwent knee surgery in mid-December, causing him to miss the first of Dynamo’s two training camps in Spain.
- City have lost their last two home games, 3-1 and 2-1 respectively to Premier League title rivals Leicester City FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC.
- Vincent Kompany played the entirety of the Tottenham match, his first appearance since suffering a recurrence of a calf injury on 26 December.
- On 1 February, City announced that Josep Guardiola will succeed Pellegrini as manager in the summer.
- Kelechi Iheanacho, 19, became the youngest City player to score a hat-trick since Joe Hayes in March 1955 when he struck three times in the 4-0 FA Cup victory at Aston Villa FC on 30 January.
- On Sunday a youthful City side lost 5-1 at Chelsea FC in the FA Cup fifth round. Teenagers Tosin Adarabioyo (18), Manu García (18), Aleix García (18), Bersant Celina (19) and David Faupala (19) all made their first senior starts while Brandon Barker (19) and Cameron Humphreys (17) came on as second-half substitutes.
- City will play Liverpool FC in the English League Cup final on 28 February, having overcome the Reds’ neighbours Everton 4-3 on aggregate in the last four.
- Wilfried Bony (calf) and Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring) have not played since 2 and 6 January respectively.
Prediction: Dyn. Kyiv 1-1 Man. City