Preview – Dynamo Kiev vs Chelsea

Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Pedro of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with Willian of Chelsea during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Chelsea and Dynamo Kyiv at Stamford Bridge on March 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Chelsea will have to ensure there are no slip-ups when they travel to take on Dynamo Kiev this evening.

The Blues already have a 3-0 lead heading into the tie after a dominant performance at Stamford Bridge last week.

That result means they effectively have one step in the next round, but Maurizio Sarri will be keen to ensure that complacency does not lead to any mistakes against the Ukrainian side.

Team News

Sarri resisted the temptation to travel with a weakened squad for this game, despite a trip to Everton coming this weekend.

Pedro, Willian, N’Golo Kante and David Luiz were all included in the travelling party despite them being likely starters at Goodison Park.

One man who is missing is striker Gonzalo Higuain, who has been left out after picking up an illness in midweek.

Kiev, meanwhile, will be without striker Fran Sol, so youngster Nazariy Rusyn will be the focal point of their attack once again.

Fellow forward Benjamin Verbic will also miss the game through illness, and Vitaliy Buyalskyi is suspended.

What the managers said

Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Maurizio Sarri chose to focus on the condition of Dynamo’s pitch, claiming it was dangerous for his players.

“I think it’s [the pitch] really dangerous,” he said.

“It will be very difficult to play good football here. We have to accept the situation.”

“I don’t understand why Uefa give so much attention to everything, like the players’ list, and then we have to play on such a bad pitch. It will also be very difficult for Dynamo. It’s a problem for us but also for our opponents.

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“I don’t know the reason, probably winter, because I played here two years ago and the pitch was wonderful.”

Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: Aleksandr Khatskevich, Manager of Dynamo Kyiv. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

His counterpart, Aleksandr Khatskevich, meanwhile, believes his side will need a miracle to overcome their first-leg defeat.

“Of course, we do have a plan,” he said.

“On Thursday, we will have to play in a more offensive way taking into account we lost the first game 0-3.

“We hope we’ll try to score quickly, maybe. Miracles do occur in football and why not it occurs tomorrow?

“The score of the first game makes us go forward.”


History is in Chelsea’s favour in this one. 90% of the previous sides to score at least three goals in the first leg of a tie have gone on to progress.

Chelsea are in good form as well. They’ve won 11 of their last 12 games in this competition.

Likewise, only Eintracht Frankfurt have gone more games unbeaten on the road than the Blues in this competition.

Willian will likely be key. Of his nine Europa League appearances this season, he has either scored or assisted at least one goal in seven different matches.

Dynamo will be boosted by their own history, though. They have progressed from their last two Europa league knockout ties in which they have lost the first leg away from home.


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