Mark Temnycky –
Dynamo Kyiv vs Juventus – Tuesday, 20 October 2020 – 17:55 GMT/18:55 CEST – Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine
The 2020/21 UEFA Champions League will kick off tonight as Dynamo Kyiv host Juventus in the competition’s Group G on Matchday 1.
After a brief hiatus from European football’s most prestigious club competition, Dynamo Kyiv have returned. The Ukrainians had to go through a series of qualification matches to reach this year’s group stages, but their hard work was paid off. Dynamo will have their new manager, Mircea Lucescu, to thank for their recent success.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk manager returned to Ukraine this summer, and he spun many heads when he joined Shakhtar’s biggest rivals. Despite the odd managerial decision, Dynamo have fared well under the start of this new managerial tenure. The Ukrainians won the Ukrainian Super Cup with Lucescu this summer, and they will hope to transfer these successes to this year’s Champions League group stage.
Dynamo were given a tough draw with Barcelona, Juventus, and Ferencváros. It is unlikely that the Ukrainians will advance to the competition’s knockout stages, but they should be well backed to advance to the Europa League’s round of 32.
Juventus, like Dynamo Kyiv, also underwent a managerial change. Although Maurizio Sarri won the 2019/20 Serie A, and his Juventus side finished as runners up in the 2019/20 Coppa Italia and the 2019 Supercoppa Italiana, the Italian was sacked as Juventus were eliminated by Olympique Lyonnais during the 2019/20 Champions League knockout stages.
Club legend Andrea Pirlo has now been appointed as the new Juventus manager, and the Italian will undergo one of his first major tests in his managerial career. Juventus should fare well against Dynamo, but the real test will be against Barcelona.
Juventus will face some unexpected challenges as some of the club’s players will be sidelined due to injury. Cristiano Ronaldo and Weston McKennie also have tested positive for the coronavirus, meaning the Juventus squad will be without some of their important players. Nonetheless, it is expected that Juventus will win their opening fixture of the 2020/21 Champions League.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Juventus – Players to Watch:
Viktor Tsygankov #15 – Dynamo Kyiv
Viktor Tsygankov is slowly emerging as the successor to Andriy Shevchenko and Andriy Yarmolenko for Dynamo Kyiv. The young forward has been prolific for his club, where he helped them earn their first appearance in the Champions League’s group stages in four years. His recent goal and match winner for Ukraine against Spain in last week’s UEFA Nations match should give him an additional confidence boost as his side prepare for this upcoming fixture.
Álvaro Morata #9 – Juventus
Álvaro Morata has had a successful football career, having played for the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus, Atlético de Madrid, and Chelsea. During his first stunt with Juventus, Morata helped the Italians win two Serie A titles, two Coppa Italias, and a Supercoppa Italiana. The Spaniard has now returned to Juventus to try and help them win more trophies, and the striker will hope to get his side on the right foot in their first Champions League fixture of the 2020/21 season.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Juventus – Match Statistics:
- This will the third match-up between Dynamo Kyiv and Juventus in the Champions League. The first encounter was during the 1997/98 Quarter-finals. The second meeting was during the 2002/03 Group Stage.
- Dynamo Kyiv are winless in these encounters, having draw once and lost three times over the course of these four matches.
- Dynamo were outscored by Juventus in four matches by an aggregate score of 3 to 12.
- Dynamo Kyiv’s Mykyta Burda is injured and will not feature in this match.
- Juventus are without the injured Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro, and Aaron Ramsey. Cristiano Ronaldo and Weston McKiennie both tested positive for the coronavirus and they will be absent.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Dynamo Kyiv vs Juventus – 0-3
Dynamo Kyiv vs Juventus – Possible Lineups:
Bushchan – Kędziora, Zabarnyi, Popov, Mykolenko – Sydorchuk, Shaparenko – Tsygankov, Buyalskyi, de Pena – Supriaha
Manager: Mircea Lucescu
Szczęsny – Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral – Kulusevski, Bentancur, Rabiot, Cuadrado – Dybala, Morata, Costa
Manager: Andrea Pirlo
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