MX23RW : Friday, March 15 19:37:06
Mar 14, 2019 at 5.55pm UK at ​Olimpisky National Sports Complex
Attendance: 64,830
Dynamo Kiev
FT(HT: 0-3)
Giroud (5', 33'), Alonso (45', 59'), Hudson-Odoi (78')

Preview: Dynamo Kiev vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Thursday's Europa League last-16 fixture between Dynamo Kiev and Chelsea.

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.

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.

Dynamo Kiev

Fran Sol celebrates scoring for Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League on February 21, 2019© Reuters

Dynamo Kiev have been provided with a relatively kind route through to the last 16 of this competition, but avoiding playing a European giant in their opening eight matches did not help them at Stamford Bridge last week.

Kiev were thoroughly outplayed by Chelsea, who will feel that they should have scored more than three goals, and it leaves Kiev requiring a minor miracle to remain in the competition.

Alyaksandr Khatskevich will be aware that one away strike for the Blues will leave his own side requiring five goals, but there will also be an acknowledgement that his charges cannot afford to play cautiously in front of their own supporters.

The pressure is off the home side to a certain extent, and Khatskevich may take confidence from the fact that his team are yet to concede a goal at NSC Olimpiyskiy since returning from their winter break.

Kiev have also responded from being second best in West London, with a dominant 4-0 victory being recorded in the derby against Arsenal Kyiv on Sunday afternoon.

All four of those goals were scored during the opening 45 minutes, and two of those strikes came from Denys Harmash, who has missed a large chunk of the season through injury.

The experienced Ukraine international has a role to play to help this young side, but Khatskevich will want more out of top scorer Viktor Tsygankov, who has not netted from open play since the turn of the year.

However, Chelsea cannot afford to ignore the 21-year-old winger, who has contributed two goals and four assists from eight outings in this year's Europa League.

Recent form: WWLDWL
Recent form (all competitions): DWWWLW


Unimpressed Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri on January 30, 2019© Reuters

Chelsea are on the brink of reaching the last eight, but Maurizio Sarri is aware that his side still have improvements to make if they are to live up to their tag of competition favourites.

The Blues have not suffered defeat in the Europa League this season - with eight wins coming from nine matches - and there has been a significant improvement in their form over the past three weeks.

However, Wolverhampton Wanderers showed on Sunday that Chelsea can be nullified if they play at one pace, leaving Sarri to contemplate how he can move this side forward over the coming months.

Chelsea salvaged a point at Stamford Bridge thanks to a long-range effort from Eden Hazard, but the English club cannot always rely on their star man to get them out of trouble.

The strike keeps Chelsea in the race for a top-four spot in the Premier League table, but there will be an acknowledgement that the club's best chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League is by lifting the Europa League trophy in May.

Sarri is still likely to make changes to his starting lineup on Thursday evening, and Callum Hudson-Odoi may get another chance to add to his impressive return in the competition.

The 18-year-old has contributed three goals and one assist from 324 minutes of football, and his late strike against Kiev last week could prove decisive in this tie.

Chelsea have also been over-reliant on Willian and Olivier Giroud in this competition with the pair producing nine goals and six assists between them, and Sarri will be keen for their teammates to chip in during this week's encounter.

Recent form: WWDWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WDWWWD

Team News

Callum Hudson-Odoi after Chelsea's FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday on January 27, 2019.© Reuters

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.

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.

Dynamo Kiev possible starting lineup:
Boyko; Kedziora, Burda, Shabanov, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk, Harmash; Tsygankov, Shaparenko, Sidcley; Verbic

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Caballero; Zappacosta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi

Head To Head

Last week's encounter was the third competitive meeting between the clubs, with two matches having also been played in the 2015-16 Champions League.

Chelsea claimed a goalless draw in Kiev on Matchday Three, before a late goal from Willian secured a 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture in West London.

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We say: Dynamo Kiev 1-2 Chelsea

Dynamo are expected to give a better account of themselves than at Stamford Bridge, but this tie is likely to be over as a contest if Chelsea net an away goal. The Blues may have struggled against Wolves at the weekend, but we expect Sarri's side to have few issues in booking their place in the last eight.

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Chelsea forward Eden Hazard in action during the EFL Cup final against Manchester City on February 24, 2019
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