The UEFA Champions League returns to the fold this week as Barcelona travel to Ukraine to take on Dynamo Kyiv at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Tuesday. Barcelona have not been at their best in recent weeks and have a point to prove going into this game.
Dynamo Kyiv have only one point from three games in Group G of the UEFA Champions League and will need a miracle to progress to the next stage of the competition. The Ukrainian giants are the underdogs going into this fixture and cannot afford to slip up against the Catalan outfit.
Barcelona have a flawless record in this edition of the UEFA Champions League but have been dismal in La Liga.
The Catalan giants could achieve qualification with a victory in this game but have a depleted squad and will need to be at their best on Tuesday. Despite the importance of this game, coach Ronald Koeman has decided to leave star player Lionel Messi out of the squad travelling to Ukraine.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Barcelona Head-to-Head
Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv have played each other on 11 occasions in official European fixtures in the past. The Catalans have an advantage as far as the head-to-head record is concerned and have won seven games as opposed to Dynamo Kyiv's three victories.
The reverse fixture between the two teams ended in a narrow 2-1 victory for Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Dynamo Kyiv had a few excellent spells of possession during the game and can potentially trouble the Catalans this week.
Dynamo Kyiv form guide: W-L-L-W-D
Barcelona form guide: L-W-W-D-W
Dynamo Kyiv vs Barcelona Team News
Dynamo Kyiv have a coronavirus crisis at the moment and will have to do without as many as nine first-team members of their squad. The Ukrainian outfit put in an impressive performance against Barcelona earlier this month and will need to dig deep to stand a chance this week.
Star striker Artem Besedin is currently serving a doping ban and is suspended for this match. Mykyta Burda, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Nazariy Rusyn, and Volodymyr Kostevych are also injured and have been ruled out of this game.
Injured: Mykyta Burda, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Nazariy Rusyn, Volodymyr Kostevych, Bogdan Lednev, Viktor Tsygankov, Sergiy Sydorchuk, Artem Shabanov, Gerson Rodrigues, Oleksandr Syrota, Oleksandr Andriyevskyi, Denys Popov, Ruslan Neshcheret
Suspended: Artem Besedin
Barcelona are facing an injury crisis of their own at the moment with Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto suffering long-term injuries against Atletico Madrid over the weekend. With Ansu Fati and Sergio Busquets also out of contention, the Catalans will have to be careful with their team selection ahead of a hectic schedule.
Koeman has decided to leave Frenkie de Jong and captain Lionel Messi out of the squad for this trip to Ukraine, preferring to leave them in Barcelona to prepare for the club's next La Liga match against Osasuna on Sunday. Antoine Griezmann will likely get a chance to impress on Tuesday.
Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo are also struggling with their fitness at the moment and youngster Oscar Mingueza will have to partner Lenglet in central defence. Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman may also have to give fan favourites Riqui Puig and Carles Alena their fair share of chances in the starting XI over the next few weeks.
Injured: Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Ronald Araujo
Doubtful: Samuel Umtiti
Unavailable: Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong
Dynamo Kyiv vs Barcelona Predicted XI
Dynamo Kyiv Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Heorhiy Bushchan; Oleksandr Karavayev, Vitaliy Mykolenko, Illya Zabarnyi, Tomasz Kedziora; Denys Harmash, Volodymyr Shepelev; Carlos de Pena, Vitaliy Buyalskyi, Mykola Shaparenko; Vladyslav Supriaha
Barcelona Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Sergino Dest, Clement Lenglet, Oscar Mingueza, Jordi Alba; Miralem Pjanic, Riqui Puig; Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Francisco Trincao; Antoine Griezmann
Dynamo Kyiv vs Barcelona Prediction
Barcelona are going through one of the worst periods in their recent history at the moment and are in desperate need of a string of victories to put a positive spin on an otherwise miserable season. Antoine Griezmann is yet to hit his peak this season and will need to return to his best to inspire Barcelona to a respectable position among Europe's elite.
Dynamo Kyiv will be forced to field yet another makeshift combination this week and will look to thwart the Catalans on Tuesday. Barcelona have been excellent in the UEFA Champions League and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: Dynamo Kyiv 0-2 Barcelona
Published 22 Nov 2020, 21:02 IST