Mark Temnycky –
Dynamo Kyiv vs Lugano – Thursday, December 12, 2019, 17:55 GMT/18:55 CEST – Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine
The final day of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League Group Stage is here. Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv will host the Swiss side Lugano on Matchday 6 in Group B.
First, Dynamo Kyiv. Having experienced a managerial change earlier this season, the Ukrainians have struggled both internationally and domestically. They were paired in the Europa League’s Group B with Copenhagen and Malmö, two formidable sides. It was never going to be easy for the Ukrainians, but Dynamo have not done themselves any favors.
In what was predicted to be a three-way battle for the group’s top two spots, Dynamo earned mixed results against their top opponents. The Ukrainians drew twice against Copenhagen while also splitting their matches with Malmö. Dynamo’s match against Lugano, however, was poor, in what should have been a victory for the Ukrainians. Having dropped these points, the Ukrainians now need to win on Matchday 6 if they have any hope of advancing to the competition’s knockout stages.
A victory on Thursday, however, may still not be enough. Currently, Copenhagen sit at the top of Group B with nine points and a goal differential of +2. Malmö are in second with eight points and a goal differential of +1. Dynamo are in third with six points and a goal differential of 0. Dynamo’s first objective is to win the match against Lugano. This would put the Ukrainians on nine points. The Ukrainians also know that at least Copenhagen or Malmö will drop points, but it is a matter of which rival will slip up. If Malmö were to win, Dynamo would have to defeat Lugano heavily in order to make up for their goal differential to beat out Copenhagen.
Alternatively, if Copenhagen wins, Dynamo will advance automatically as they would have a greater point total than Malmö. The worst-case scenario would be a draw between Copenhagen and Malmö, where the Swedes earn the head to head tie given their recent 4-3 victory over Dynamo on Matchday 5.
All things considered, Dynamo should not have been in this position and it appears they have dipped in form. Having already been eliminated from Champions League contention, as they were eliminated during the third qualification round, the Ukrainians have struggled for consistency within the Europa League. Perhaps it would be best to see them eliminated from the competition all together so that they can focus on their internal problems. With a questionable head coach and a squad of mixed talent, Dynamo have a lot of work to do ahead of the Summer 2020 Transfer Window.
In contrast, Lugano have yet to win a match in this year’s Europa League competition. Having played five group stages matches, the Swiss drew twice and lost three times. Moreover, they have only scored one goal in five games, indicating they have not threatened their opposition.
Given they were eliminated from the competition, the Swiss will look to play for pride in their final match of the 2019/20 competition. It will be a season to forget for Lugano in the Europa League, but they can still play spoiler on the final day of the group stage. Should they defeat the Ukrainians, this would see both Copenhagen and Malmö advance, while it would also bring some joy to the Swiss team and their supporters in what otherwise was a lackluster performance.
Overall, it appears there are some similarities between Lugano and their opposition. Both sides have been uninspiring throughout their respective European campaigns, and perhaps both clubs will be privately be pleased once their misfortunes in this competition are over. Their elimination would allow them to focus on their respective domestic campaigns, and they will look to regroup for next season. How might these teams fare on Matchday 6 in the Europa League’s Group B?
Dynamo Kyiv vs Lugano – Players to Watch:
Viktor Tsyhankov #15 – Dynamo Kyiv
Viktor Tsygankov has been previously linked with a move outside of the Ukrainian Premier Liha, and he will hope to use this Europa League fixture as a means to showcase his talent. Dynamo has relied heavily on their young midfielder, and Tsygankov will look to be a key figure in this fixture as Dynamo hope to secure their passage to the Europa League knockout stages.
Marco Aratore #70 – Lugano
Marco Aratore is currently one of Lugano’s top scorers in the 2019/20 season. The seasoned midfielder has played an important role for his club, and he will hope to end his club’s poor Europa League season with a strong performance.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Lugano – Match Statistics:
- This will be the second encounter between these two sides. The previous match ended in a 0-0 draw.
- Dynamo Kyiv are without the injured Denys Popov and Mykyta Burda. Serhiy Sydorchuk is suspended for this match.
- Lugano’s Alexander Gerndt, Jonathan Sabbatini, Lucio Soldini, Mijat Marić and Roman Macek are injured.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Dynamo Kyiv vs Lugano – 1-1
Dynamo Kyiv vs Lugano – Possible Lineups:
Bushchan – Karavayev, Shabanov, Kádár, Mykolenko – Buyalskyi, Shepelyev – Shaparenko, De Pena, Tsygankov, – Rodrigues
Manager: Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko
Baumann – Lavanchy, Kecskés, Daprelà Obexer – Custodio – Carlinhos, Lovrić, Guidotti, Aratore – Bottani
Manager: Fabio Celestini
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