Chelsea make the trip to Ukraine to face Dynamo Kiev in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie holding a 3-0 advantage from last week’s opening fixture .
The Blues come into this game, after a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Wolves, which has somewhat dented their hopes of a top four finish.
Dynamo play host to the Premier League outfit on Thursday night knowing that they will have to pull off one of the competition’s greatest comebacks to reach the quarter-finals.
The side from Ukraine will come into this game with alot of confidence, after their thumping 4-0 win on the weekend over Arsenal Kyiv.
Recent form for both sides in all competitions
Dynamo Kyiv- DWWWLW
Team News (Credit- Sportsmole)
Kiev are able to welcome back Benjamin Verbic after suspension, and the Slovenian could be used down the middle with Sidcley playing on the left flank.
However, Vitaliy Buyalskiy will miss Thursday’s game due to a one-match ban.
Hudson-Odoi will expect to be provided with a starting role in Kiev, as will Ross Barkley and Giroud who did not get on the pitch against Wolves.
Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho may retain their places in midfield having both been substituted at the weekend, while Willy Caballero should replace Kepa Arrizabalaga between the sticks.
Davide Zappacosta and Marcos Alonso are expected to fill the full-back positions, with Andreas Christensen a likely replacement for David Luiz in the centre of defence.
Predicted Starting elevens
Dynamo Kyiv’s predicted starting eleven (4-2-3-1) – Boyko; Kedziora, Burda, Shabanov, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk, Harmash; Tsygankov, Shaparenko, Sidcley; Verbic.
Chelsea’s predicted starting eleven (4-3-3)- Caballero; Zappacosta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi.
TV information and kick off time
The match will be televised live on BT Sport 3.
Kick off is at 5:55pm.
Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri
Sarri on Dynamo Kyiv: “I think that mentally it is a very difficult match because we can undervalue the match and opponents, I know they are really dangerous. I saw their other matches in the Europa League. They played good football and a good match vs Olympiakos”
Sarri on Chelsea mentality warning for tomorrow: “It is a dangerous match for us, we need to go into the match with the target to win and not just qualify, or it can be dangerous. We want to win and qualify as a consequence.”
Sarri on keeping his job at the end of season: “I don’t know, I don’t mind. For me, it is important tomorrow in the Europa League and in Liverpool against Everton. Next season is too far, I am focused on these two matches. Then we have the international break.”
Sarri on Hudson-Odoi: “I want to send to my team that this match is very important, I don’t want to make a mistake in this one. As you know, in the last match Odoi, is in the first match, so Odoi is in my mind for every match.”
Sarri on Higuain not travelling and is sick: “He had a fever after the match in the Premier League, for two days. So yesterday evening, we with the doctor decided to leave him at home to recover for the next match.”
Sarri on Zidane-Madrid-Hazard: “You have to ask to Hazard, I think. I don’t know at the moment. I didn’t speak with Eden about Zidane. I am not worried because you know my opinion. I want only in my team players who want to play for Chelsea, so I can’t be worried”
Sarri on pitch: “We have to accept this situation and play on this pitch. There isn’t another solution. I can’t understand why UEFA Isn’t giving attention to everything. Especially to the players list, you have to present the players list early and then play on such a bad pitch”
Chelsea Player: Willian
Willian: “The pitch is not the best, but we don’t have to think about that. We have to go there and to try to win this game. The pitch will be bad for both teams. We know that but we have to do our job. It will be difficult to play our football, but we will do our best”
Willian on possible Dynamo slip up: “We know how different the game will be tomorrow from the first leg, they have good players and a good team. If we are not 100% concentrated tomorrow, we will be in trouble. We have to play with the same mentality from the first leg.”
Willian on his two free-kicks vs Dynamo: “This is my job to score goals and help teams win games. Of course, they were very similar two goals. I hope to score one more tomorrow.” Gets laughs from locals with his cheekiness.
Head to Head record
These two sides have met 3 times in all competitions, with Chelsea winning two, and there has been one draw between these 2 sides over the years in European competitions. Dynamo haven’t beaten Chelsea yet.
The last meeting between these two sides came last Thursday, where Chelsea blitzed a poor Dynamo side on the day by three goals to nil, with goals from Pedro, Willian and Hudson-Odoi putting the Blues in a good position coming into this second leg tomorrow in Kiev.
Willian has a good record against Dynamo, and his free kick sent Chelsea through to the knockout stages of the Champions League in the 2015/16 season, when they beat Dynamo Kyiv by two goals to one at Stamford Bridge.
Betting Odds/My Prediction
Betfair have made Chelsea the favourites to win this second leg, and progress through to the next round of the Europa League. A Chelsea win is being priced at 23/20. A draw between these two sides is being priced at 23/10. And a shock Dynamo Kyiv win on the night is being priced at 13/5.
My realistic prediction for this game is a 1-1 draw. I think Dynamo will show up in the second leg and make it a tough game for the Blues.
My optimistic prediction for this game as a Chelsea fans is a 1-3 Blues win. I think Giroud will score 2, and Hudson-Odoi will score the other goal.
Comment down below your score predictions for this match
By Danyal Khan