If anything is consistent in 2015/16, it is Chelsea’s inconsistency on the pitch. Unable to put together two wins on the bounce, Mourinho’s Chelsea have so far been a shadow of the team that dominated the English Premier League right from the word go last campaign. Their inability to reach the heights in games in the domestic competition has slowly seeped into the Champions League and anything but a win on Wednesday could prove catastrophic for the West London club in terms of progressing to the next stage. The Blues sit third in Group G with four points on board in what is relatively an easier group to come out of than that of fellow English clubs simply suggests they have been struggling with issues on and off the pitch, which makes it a vitally important fixture for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho even more so than the visitors.
Dynamo Kiev ground out a respectable draw in Ukraine when the sides met in matchday three and will be out to do the same on Wednesday. Serhiy Reberov has moulded his side in a way that teams playing Dynamo will find it considerably hard to penetrate and create chances against. The Ukrainian giants have kept 14 clean sheets in the last 19 games and lost just once in the last 6 games scoring 10 goals and conceding just 3, which includes a run of 5 clean sheets. They will fancy their chances on Wednesday though, given the enormous pressure Chelsea and especially Jose Mourinho are under to sort the mess and turn the season around.
Chelsea will be without the likes of Ivanovic and Courtois for Wednesday’s game against Kiev. Manager Jose Mourinho will also be looking to bring back his preferred midfield duo of Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic after resting them last week.
Kyiv will have most of their first team players fit and ready for the trip to Stamford Bridge. The Ukrainians will be without their striker Lukasz Teodorczyk who is out owing to a long-term injury.
Chelsea Starting: Begovic; Zouma, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Hazard, Oscar, Willian; Costa
Dynamo Kiev: Oleksandr Shovkovskiy (c); Yevhen Khacheridi, Domagoj Vida, Aleksandar Dragovic, Danilo Silva; Serhiy Rybalka, Derlis Gonzalez, Vitaliy Buyalskiy, Serhiy Sydorchuk, Andriy Yarmolenko; Artem Kravets.
Chelsea have conceded at least two goals in nine of their 11 league fixtures this campaign, 22 in total. They had let in the same number in 2014/15 after 28 rounds.
Dynamo have kept clean sheets in 14 of their 19 games in all competitions this season.
Key Men Comparison
Willian (Chelsea) v Dragovic (Dynamo Kyiv)
Willian has been the only shining light this season for Chelsea with the Brazilian midfielder scoring twice (joint highest) and creating 16 chances (1 assist) in 10 appearances (8 starts). With Hazard seemingly out of form since the start of the campaign and Oscar in and out of the team, Willian has taken up the mantle of being the play-maker in the side, scoring and making things happen in the final third and has done well on a personal level so far. Although, he can’t do it all by himself as results suggest and his link-up with Hazard, Oscar and Fabregas could be really crucial not just on Tuesday, but the rest of the season, if Chelsea are to push for a place in the top four and make some progress in the Champions League.
As mentioned before, Dynamo Kyiv has been built to not concede, stay compact with a back four that’s just conceded in 5 of the last 19 games in all competitions. Austrian defender Alexander Dragovic has been a major cog in a unit that is performing so well that held its own even in their previous meeting against Tuesday’s opposition in Ukraine. A similar performance culminating in at least a point can prove really vital to their ambitions to qualify for the round of 16.
Not many goals in this one. Mourinho to hang in, for longer than many others make out.
Chelsea 1-0 Dynamo Kyiv