Juventus will be looking to bounce back to winning ways when they face off against Dynamo Kyiv in their penultimate group fixture of the UEFA Champions League.
After a disappointing result against Benevento in the Serie A, Juventus will be aiming to produce a strong reaction when they play hosts to Ukrainian outfit Dynamo Kyiv at the Allianz Stadium in Group G of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Juventus have already qualified to the knockout stages of the Champions League, having collected nine points from four games so far, three points less than group leaders Barcelona. With chances of ending as the group winners slim, there will be the temptation of playing fringe players in the next two matches.
But following the 1-1 draw at the weekend against Benevento, the pressure will be on manager Andrea Pirlo to get his team back to winning ways against a Dynamo Kyiv side that is battling with Ferencvaros for third place in Group G and a passage to the UEFA Europa League.
Dynamo Kyiv are winless in Europe this term, collecting just one point from four games so far. With bottom-placed Ferencvaros level on points, Mircea Lucescu will be hoping to guide his team to a positive result in their last two group games and finish third in the group. They head into the midweek game on the back of a 2-0 win over Vorskla.
Wednesday will mark a historic occasion, as it will be the first time a men’s Champions League match will be officiated by a female, with French referee Stephanie Frappart given the role. The reverse fixture played in Kyiv had seen Juventus run out comfortable 2-0 winners, courtesy an Alvaro Morata brace. And, ahead of their latest, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
The Italian champions have been handed a double injury boost heading into the game as both Giorgio Chiellini and Merih Demiral participated in full training on Monday and are in contention to feature. Cristiano Ronaldo should also be back after being rested for the weekend clash against Benevento.
Andrea Pirlo could opt to make a few changes to the side that started at the weekend, starting from goal, where veteran custodian Gianluigi Buffon could get a run-out in place of first-choice shot-stopper Wojciech Szczesny.
Juan Cuadrado, who is a booking away from suspension, could be held back with an eye on the game against Barcelona. Instead, Danilo should move to the right-back slot after featuring as a centre-back in the last game. Gianluca Frabotta should get another start at left-back ahead of Alex Sandro, while Matthijs de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci pair up at the centre.
There could be changes throughout the midfield four with Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Bernardeschi in line for starts on the flanks replacing Aaron Ramsey and Federico Chiesa. Weston McKennie should come in for Adrien Rabiot in the centre of the park, with Rodrigo Bentancur also in line to start ahead of Arthur Melo.
Upfront, the rested Ronaldo is a certain starter and he is likely to be partnered by Alvaro Morata, who will be suspended for the next league game after being sent off against Benevento. Paulo Dybala will, once again, remain on the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Buffon; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Frabotta; Kulusevski, McKennie, Bentancur, Bernardeschi; Morata, Ronaldo
The visiting team will have to make do without the services of Nazariy Rusyn, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Volodymyr Kostevych and Mykyta Burda for the trip to Turin. Mircean Lucescu should his team up in a 4-4-1-1 formation, almost mirroring their opponents’ shape at the Allianz Stadium. However, they are likely to sit deep and look to hit Juve on the break.
Heorhiy Bushchan is a certainty between the sticks for the Ukrainian giants. The 26-year-old could be in for a busy night if Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo are in their elements. So, he will need all the protection he can get from the backline comprising of Oleksandr Karavayev, Ilya Zabarnyi, Denys Popov and Vitaliy Mykolenko.
— FC Dynamo Kyiv (@DynamoKyiv) November 30, 2020
Club captain Serhiy Sydorchuk will pair up with Volodymyr Shepelyev at the heart of the Dynamo Kyiv midfield. The duo’s work-rate in the second line of press will be key for the visitors. The attacking threat for Lucescu’s side is likely to come from the flanks with Viktor Tsyhankov, who has seven goals and two assists this term, and Carlos de Pena likely to start.
With Vitaliy Buyalskiy not travelling with the rest of the squad to Italy, Mykola Shaparenko is likely to slot in as the attacking midfielder to support Benjamin Verbic at the top of the Dynamo Kyiv attack in Turin.
Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Bushchan; Karavayev, Zabarnyi, Popov, Mykolenko; Tshyankov, Shepelyev, Sydorchuk, de Pena; Shaparenko; Verbic
- Juventus have picked up four victories in their previous five meetings with Dynamo Kyiv in all competitions (D1).
- Dynamo Kyiv have won just one of their last 12 away fixtures against Italian opposition in major European competitions (D5 L6) – a 3-0 win over AS Roma in the Champions League group stages in 2005/06.
- No Ukrainian side has ever beaten Juventus in the UEFA Champions League. The Bianconeri have won five of seven such fixtures while drawing the remaining two.
- Dynamo Kyiv have won just one of their last 12 Champions League matches (D4 L7), beating Besiktas 6-0 in December 2016. Having lost their last two matches in the competition, they will be looking to avoid losing three on the bounce for the first time since 2007/08, when they lost all their group games.
- Juventus have lost just two of their previous 26 home games in the UEFA Champions League (W16 D8), although, one of those defeats came in this season against Barcelona.
Player to Watch
Even though Juventus have already qualified to the knockout stages, Cristiano Ronaldo is very much in line to start against Dynamo Kyiv after he was rested at the weekend and things did not go all too well for the Old Lady. The 35-year-old has been in exceptional form once again, already banging in nine goals from seven games in all competitions.
However, he has not been able to make his mark in Europe, having missed two of Juve’s first four games due to coronavirus. Even then, he has one goal and one assist to his name in two matches and the Portuguese talisman will be hoping to boost his tally and get into the groove as he gears up to meet old nemesis Lionel Messi in a week’s time.
Juventus 2-0 Dynamo Kyiv
Dynamo Kyiv are without a win in the Champions League so far. Even though Juventus are coming on the back of a disappointing draw, with the potential return of Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonardo Bonucci to the starting XI the hosts ought to improve considerably at both ends of the pitch and should have enough quality to see off the Ukrainians on Wednesday.