Dynamo Kyiv host Club Brugge at the Olympiyskyi this evening in an all or nothing stakes match that requires the capital club to win by a two goal margin on the night!

The away leg showcased everything that has been wrong with Kyiv under the Khatskevich tenure. Aimless passes, method-less counter attacking and questionable defending. 

The line up for the first leg compounded the performance on the pitch. A host of usual starting XI players were left on the bench, only to be brought on to firefight in the second half. Last year’s player of the season, Tsyhankov, looked out of sorts and new signing Gerson Rodrigues was unable to carve out any clear cut chances.

Ultimately, it was Oleksandr Karavayev’s rash hacking down of a Brugge forward inside the box last week that cost Dynamo a draw. However, the problems stretch across the pitch and despite reassurances from both manager and players that we will see ‘a completely different side,’ it doesn’t bode well that a stronger line up still managed to lose to Shakhtar on the weekend. 

The side that Dynamo used against the Donetsk club is what many are expecting to see start the European tie with a few minor tweaks. Sydorchuk, Shepelev and Harmash are likely to retain their spots, with Verbic coming in for De Pena. 

Tsyhankov will be expected to be far more influential than his previous shifts and Gerson will be burdened with the solo centre forward role. On paper this looks like a side capable of overcoming Brugge, it will all depend on whether any coherent tactics are applied to it on the pitch!

Club Brugge know that an away goal should be enough to see them progress. Hence, it is highly important that Dynamo, not only get themselves back into the tie with a more clinical attacking performance but also that their defensive core remains organised throughout. The fact that Shakhtar were able to walk through their back line so easily on the weekend doesn’t bode too well.

Serious questions will be asked of Khatskevich and his training staff if Dynamo do reside themselves to another season of Europa League football. It may even force Ihor Surkis to part ways with the coach that he had given a two year contact extension to in the summer… but that is wishful thinking!

Regardless of the recent performances, the Olympiyskyi is expecting a healthy crowd to cheer the side on into the play off round. Let’s just hope that the white and blues can prove the doubters wrong and get through to the play off round whilst helping to uphold Ukraine’s slipping coefficient! 

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