Mark Temnycky –
Copenhagen vs Dynamo Kyiv – Thursday, 7 November 2019, 17:55 GMT/18:55 CEST – Telia Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark
The top two teams in Group B of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League will go head to head on Matchday 4 as FC Copenhagen host Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday.
FC Copenhagen have struggled this season. They are currently in second place in the Danish Superliga, and have conceded 15 goals in 115 matches. Moreover, the Danes have had a mixed result in the Europa League, winning one and drawing twice in their three matches this season.
Copenhagen previously missed out on a place in this year’s Champions League. The Danes were paired with Serbian side Crvena zvezda during the qualification period, although Copenhagen were eliminated after a penalty shootout. Disappointed by the outcome, the Danes had to settle for the Europa League this season.
Therefore, Copenhagen will look to take the lead in the Europa League’s Group B on Thursday. Should the visitors earn a result against Dynamo, the Danes will know it will take them one step closer toward competing in the Europa League’s Round of 32.
Similarly, Dynamo Kyiv have also had a mixed season. The Ukrainians failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League on three consecutive attempts, they fired manager Aleksandr Khatskevich, only to be replaced with former manager Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko, and Dynamo find themselves ten points behind rivals Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier Liha table.
Their statistics across all competitions are not great either. The Ukrainians have scored 24 goals in 12 games in the Ukrainian Premier Liha, but have failed to score goals in critical matches, such as their previous Europa League match against Lugano, and have dropped points against difficult opposition such as Shakhtar Donetsk and Zorya Luhansk.
Based on the current outcomes this season, Dynamo may turn to the Europa League as an alternative piece of silverware to the Ukrainian Premier Liha, but they will have to have a more convincing display than the ones they had against Malmö and Lugano. Otherwise, should they continue to play a series of lackluster football, they will not advance to the knockout stages of the 2019/20 Europa League.
Therefore, while Group B’s joint leaders will face each other on Matchday 4, it may be the battle of the two uninspiring sides on Thursday. Who will prevail in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen vs Dynamo Kyiv – Players to Watch:
Michael Santos #18 – Copenhagen
Michael Santos is FC Copenhagen’s current top scorer, where he has registered five goals in nine matches across the Danish Superliga and UEFA Europa League. The Uruguayan midfielder will look to add to his goalscoring tally as his side take on Dynamo on Matchday 3 of Group B.
Gerson Rodrigues #22 – Dynamo Kyiv
Dynamo Kyiv have struggled to produce goals in big games this season. Should Dynamo have any hopes of advancing to the Europa League’s knockout stages this season, they will need to win this match against Copenhagen. Having acquired striker Gerson Rodrigues this summer, the Ukrainian club will turn to their striker in this match.
Copenhagen vs Dynamo Kyiv – Match Statistics:
- The previous encounter in Group B ended in a 1-1 draw.
- Copenhagen are without the injured Andreas Bjelland, Carlo Holse, Guillermo Varela, Jonas Wind, Nicolai Boilesen, Robert Mudražija, Robert Mudrazija and Stephan Andersen.
- Dynamo Kyiv will have a fully fit squad.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: FC Copenhagen vs Dynamo Kyiv – 1-1
FC Copenhagen vs Dynamo Kyiv – Possible Lineups:
Johnsson – Bartolec, Papagiannopo, Nelsson, Oviedo –Stage, Zeca, Fischer – Santos, Bendtner, Falk
Manager: Ståle Solbakken
Buschan – Kędziora, Popov, Shabanov, Mykolenko – Buyalskyi, Shepelyev – Verbič, De Pena, Tsygankov, – Rodrigues
Manager: Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko
Mark Temnycky is an AIPS accredited journalist who covers the Ukrainian men’s national team and Ukrainian clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for the Futbolgrad Network. Follow him @MTemnycky