FC Astana vs Dynamo Kyiv – Thursday, November 29, 15:50 BST/16:50 CEST – Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan
The UEFA Europa League Group K will host an entertaining fixture on Matchday 5. FC Astana and Dynamo Kyiv currently sit level on points in their group and are the joint group leaders. Although Dynamo lead on goal differential, Astana lead the head to head as they scored two away goals in the previous fixture.
There is much at stake in this match, as the victor will be crowned as the group leader. Moreover, the winner of this match will progress to the competition’s knockout stages with a game to spare. Both sides will be eager to win this match.
FC Astana will host the Ukrainians on Thursday. Their current record in the group is two victories and two draws. They have also scored seven goals in four matches and even recorded a clean sheet against French club Stade Rennes.
The Kazakhs have impressed in their group. While examining the competition, many viewers would tend to overlook clubs outside of Western Europe. In other words, a certain ignorance surrounds clubs that hail from the former Soviet Union. Based on their performance in the group, FC Astana have demonstrated that they are no pushovers.
Now, with two matches left to play in Group E, they could qualify for the competition’s knockout stages. The club has never progressed out of the group stage in their history. Therefore, this would be a remarkable achievement for the club.
They will face a stubborn Ukrainian side, however. Dynamo are also undefeated in the group. The Ukrainians have scored nine goals in four matches, although they have conceded six. Their lack of composure in defence has allowed for their opponents to get the better of them on two occasions. They have no one but themselves to blame.
On two occasions the Ukrainians held a comfortable lead, but a lapse in focus allowed for their opponents to score late equalisers and steal a point in these matches. One of these encounters was against Astana. Despite dominating the game, the Ukrainians allowed the Kazakhs back into the game, and their visitors left Kyiv with a point.
Dynamo will look to learn from these mistakes as they travel to Kazakhstan on Matchday 5. Should they claim victory in Astana, they will automatically qualify for the Europa League Round of 32 with a game to play. Anything other than a victory would be viewed as a disappointing result for the travelling side.
FC Astana vs Dynamo Kyiv – Players to Watch:
Marin Tomasov #14 – FC Astana
The Croat has enjoyed a successful spell at FC Astana. Having been purchased by the club during the 2018 Summer Transfer Window, Marin Tomasov has scored eight goals in 12 appearances for the Kazakh club. Should his side hope to progress to the UEFA Europa League’s knockout stages, they will need to rely on the prolific midfielder.
Mykyta Burda #26 – Dynamo Kyiv
Mykyta Burda has enjoyed a lot of success over the past year. Having recently been called up to the Ukrainian national team, he played an influential role in helping Ukraine gain promotion to the UEFA Nations League’s prestigious League A. He will hope to transfer these successes to his club team. His strong defensive ability will certainly be an asset for the home side.
FC Astana vs Dynamo Kyiv – Match Stats:
- The previous encounter was held in Kyiv in September 2018. Dynamo were up 2-1 at halftime. Despite dominating the match, the Ukrainians conceded a last minute equalizer in the 90 minute. The match ended 2-2 at fulltime.
- FC Astana are without Ricardo Almeida, who is injured.
- Dynamo Kyiv’s Artem Besyedin is also sidelined due to injury.
- FC Astana and Dynamo Kyiv are level on points in the UEFA Europa League Group K. They have both earned eight points from four matches.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: FC Astana vs Dynamo Kyiv – 1-2
FC Astana vs Dynamo Kyiv – Predicted Lineups:
Eric – Shomko, Anicic, Postnikov, Rukavina – Maevskiy – Henrique, Muzhikov, Kleinheisler, Tomasov – Kabananga
Head Coach: Roman Grygorchuk
Boyko – Kędziora, Burda, Kádár, Mykolenko – Harmash, Buyalskiy – Tsygankov, Tchê Tchê, Morozyuk – Supryaha
Manager: Alyaksandr Khatskevich
Mark Temnycky reports on the Ukrainian men’s national team and Ukrainian clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Outside of the Futbolgrad Network, he covers Manchester City for SB Nation’s Bitter and Blue. Follow him @MTem33