Mariupol welcome Dynamo Kyiv to the Azov coast in this Matchday 4 game in hand!

After being given special dispensation by the UPL to move this fixture in order to prioritise key European fixtures in the summer, this fixture is finally being fulfilled.

It’s a long away trip to make, with the War making it extremely difficult to get to in terms of travel time. Dynamo flew from Kyiv to Dnipro on Tuesday, before still needing to embark on a lengthy coach journey on top. Will this have an impact on the final result?

Returning back to the football, Dynamo look to be benefiting from a recent bounce in form. They followed up their narrow win against Malmo in the UEL with a 5-0 demolition job of Vorskla. However, only time will tell whether it was Dynamo’s performance or Vorskla’s lack of one that contributed most to such a flattering scoreline.

In that game in Poltava, Dynamo suffered a couple of key personnel losses. Malmo matchwinner, Buyalyskyy came off in the first half before Burda was stretchered off. Buyalskyy’s injury looked a lot less serious and it’s expected he will be back soon. However, Burda has had to have knee surgery and is expected to be sidelined for a number of months.

Fortunately his centre back partner, Artem Shabanov has had a good few games at the back. Andriy Shevchenko has called the defender up to his next NT squad in place of the injured Burda. Also, as a result of the injury; Copa America runner up, Zambrano has made the travelling squad for the first time under the manager.

Mariupol have drawn their last two games against bottom club Olimpik and then the more formidable Zorya last time out. Due to their lack of a consistent goal scoring striker, they rely heavily on their defence to get them results. If compact and organised, then they could cause problems for Dynamo, who despite their recent goal scoring exploits have shown they are more than capable of being shut out by inferior opposition.

However, the morale in the Dynamo team looks to have improved over the past week, in line with results. Initial signs point to a Dynamo win but as many will know, it’s never that straight forward.

One thing that is for certain is that regardless of the result, the ‘they’ve still got a game in hand’ excuse used to part justify Dynamo’s lowly position in the table expires later today!

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