Olympic Stadium, Kiev
Tuesday 20th October 2015, 1845 GMT
Chelsea FC take on Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday, hoping to bounce back from a damaging defeat against FC Porto in their previous fixture in the UEFA Champions League
Jos Mourinho will travel to the Olympic Stadium in Kiev for the second time in the space of a week — this time without making any attempts to disguise himself. The Chelsea FC manager was at the stadium for Ukraine’s match against Spain last week in questionable attire, unsurprisingly making him the butt of several internet jokes.
The Blues have a far more serious mission in Ukraine on Tuesday however, with both FC Porto and Dyanmo Kyiv on 4 points each and thus above the Stamford Bridge outfit in Group G. Chelsea FC will face their Ukrainian opponents in two consecutive matches, hoping to stay within touching distance of Porto, who will almost certainly beat minnows Maccabi Tel-Aviv in their double-header.
Team News and Tactics
Manager Serhiy Rebrov could be without Ukraine international midfielder Serhiy Rybalka, who is a doubt for Tuesday’s encounter due to a thigh injury. There are no other major injury concerns however, and Rebrov will be hoping his side show the hunger to bounce back from a humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk last weekend.
Dynamo Kyiv have lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation so far in this competition, but could opt for a more cautious approach against the English champions, who do have the attacking talent to cause them problems despite their current form. A variation of a 4-5-1 formation is more likely — the same formation that was used this past weekend against Shakhtar — with Portuguese midfielder Miguel Veloso playing as the anchor-man and shielding the back four.
The Ukrainian side’s biggest attacking threat this season is unquestionably Andriy Yarmolenko, who is having a sparkling season thus far for his club side. The left-footed Yarmolenko is expected to take up his usual position on the right wing, and Chelsea FC manager Jos Mourinho might have to think twice about playing the defensively suspect Ghanaian Abdul Baba Rahman at left-back.
Dynamo Kyiv will also have studied the Blues’ defeat to FC Porto, and noted the problems winger Yacine Brahimi was able to cause down the left flank with his pace and directness. As such, Paraguayan youngster Derlis GonzA?lez could start on the left flank. The 21-year-old has pace to burn, and his technical ability, trickery, and intelligence of movement make him precisely the type of player the Chelsea FC defence has had problems dealing with this season.
Possible line-up (4-5-1): Shovkovskiy (C); Danilo Silva, Khacheridi, Dragovi , Antunes; Veloso, Sydorchuk, Garmash, Yarmolenko, GonzA?lez; JA?nior Moraes
Manager Jos Mourinho confirmed the absence of Spanish winger Pedro as well as Frenchman LoA?c R my due to minor injuries, with neither making the trip to Ukraine. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois remains sidelined with a long-term knee injury, while vice-captain Branislav Ivanovi continues his recovery from a hamstring problem.
Chelsea FC lined up in a 4-3-3 formation in their 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa, with Mourinho springing a major surprise and dropping Belgian superstar Eden Hazard from the starting line-up. Given the absence of Pedro however, the 24-year-old could again win his place back on the left flank, with Willian moving back to the right. Alternatively, Mourinho might opt to play Oscar out wide on the left, a position he has occupied for the Brazil national team on occasion.
Another key decision for the Chelsea FC manager to make is the choice of full-backs for the game. The sizeable threat of Yarmolenko from the Blues’ left might force the Portuguese to field Spaniard C sar Azpilicueta on the left once again, with Frenchman Kurt Zouma possibly filling in at right-back, and new signing Baba Rahman dropping to the bench.
Brazilians Willian and Ramires have been extremely important to the side of late, with the former particularly impressing with his conversion of free-kicks and his all-round contribution going forward as well as in a defensive sense. The Brazilians’ pace and mobility is an absolute must for the otherwise slow central midfield that Chelsea FC have, and their defensive work-rate will allow the likes of Cesc F bregas more freedom to take up positions in the attacking third and thread balls through to the likes of Diego Costa.
Possible line-up (4-3-3): Begovi ; Zouma, Cahill, Terry (C), Azpilicueta; Mati , Ramires, F bregas; Willian, Hazard, Diego Costa
- Dynamo Kyiv lost their first Ukrainian Premier League match this weekend after a run of 38 matches without a defeat
- Chelsea FC manager Jos Mourinho completed 200 wins as the Blues’ manager in their 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa on Saturday
- Dynamo Kyiv have lost just one of their last 10 European home games, winning 7
- Eden Hazard is still one goal shy of his 50th goal for Chelsea FC, and hasn’t scored for the club in 15 games — his longest dry spell
- Dynamo Kyiv are playing in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 15th time; they have failed to progress in their last 10 attempts
Player to watch
The 25-year-old is having a strong season with Dynamo Kyiv, scoring 8 and assisting 7 in 14 appearances in all competitions. Yarmolenko has been the subject of interest from several English Premier League sides, and is now being linked with Tuesday’s opponents after Jos Mourinho attended the Ukraine national team’s game against Spain.
The explosive attacking midfielder is capable of causing the Blues’ defence all sorts of problems, and will be keen to impress on the biggest stage in club football against one of the top teams in the competition. The Ukrainian will be looking to take advantage of what is likely to be a reshuffled Blues’ defence, and as such, is the player to watch at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.
Dynamo Kyiv 1 – 2 Chelsea FC
Mourinho will be stressing the importance of getting a positive result from this game to his players, and Dynamo Kyiv could be a little short on confidence after the humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk a couple of days ago. An early goal for Chelsea could help settle any nerves, and Mourinho’s men might just scrape this one.
Blast from the past