On September 14, FC Dynamo Kyiv will play the 2021/2022 Champions League group stage matchday 1 game. The White-Blues will host the Portuguese side SL Benfica at the NSC Olimpiyskyi.
Before the game
Mircea Lucescu, Dynamo head coach: “We’re in for tough game against very good team. We hope a lot of fans will come to the stadium to help us. Almost all Benfica players have significant European and international experience. These are Otamendi, Vertongen, Joao Mario, Pizzi, Seferovic. Our players, especially youngsters, are very enthusiastic. Last year we performed in the Champions League after five-year break, but now we must aim for more”.
Jorge Jesus, Benfica head coach: “As a coach, before the game I feel my team is superstrong, motivated and able to win. We coped with complicated situations in previous matches and we must do well in the upcoming game. We go to Kyiv with confidence.
It would have been wrong to consider Dynamo are the weakest team in our group. They have the most highly qualified coach in the world. I admire Lucescu. They have five internationals. This means we’ll oppose a great team. But we can win. I treat Dynamo just like Barcelona and Bayern”.
- As far as Dynamo have won the 2020/2021 Ukrainian Premier League, they start the Champions League campaign with group stage. The game against Benfica will be the first one on European arena this season for them.
- Benfica had to go through two qualifying rounds to reach the group stage. Jorge Jesus’ men outplayed FC Spartak Moscow (2:0 away, 2:0 at home) and PSV (2:1 at home, 0:0 away).
In: Denys Antyukh (Kolos), Ilya Shkurin (CSKA Moscow, loan move), Eric Ramírez (Dunajská Streda), Vladyslav Kulach (Vorskla), Vitinho (Athletico Paranaense).
Out: Mikkel Duelund (NEC Nijmegen, loan move), Clayton (released), Fran Sol (Eibar, loan move), Serhiy Buletsa (Zoria, loan move), Akhmed Alibekov (Zoria, loan move), Nazariy Rusyn (Dnipro-1, loan move), Mykyta Kravchenko (Dnipro-1, loan), Heorhiy Tsytaishvili (Chornomorets Odesa, loan move), Vladyslav Dubinchak (Dnipro-1, loan move), Mohammed Kadiri (Chornomorets Odesa, loan move), Sidcley (PAOK, loan move), Benito (Gorica, loan move), Gerson Rodrigues (Troyes, loan move).
In: Rodrigo Pinho (Maritimo), Gil Dias (Monaco), Joao Mario (Inter), Soualiho Meite (Torino), Roman Yaremchuk (Gent), Nemanja Radonjić (Marseille, loan move), Valentino Lazaro (Inter, loan move).
Out: Jardel (released), Pedrinho (Shakhtar Donetsk), Franco Cervi (Celta Vigo), Caio Lucas (Sharjah), Tiago Dantas (Tondela, loan move), Nuno Tavares (Arsenal), Nuno Santos (Pacos Ferreira, loan move), Filip Krovinovic (Hajduk Split), Alfa Semedo (Vitoria SC), Luca Waldschmidt (Wolfsburg), Florentino (Getafe, loan move), Tomas Tavares (Basel, loan move), Carlos Vinicius (PSV, loan move), Andreas Samaris (released), Chiquinho (Braga, loan move).
Injured forward Artem Besedin and defender Denys Popov definitely won’t take the field. Eric Ramirez has got COVID. It’s still questionable whether Vitaliy Buialskyi will be able to play.
Defender Lucas Verissimo will skip this match. Defender Andre Almeida and goalkeeper Svilar aren’t currently working with the team. It’s also doubtful whether Nicolas Otamendi will take the field.
Domestic leagues start
Dynamo have already played 9 matches this season – seven in the UPL and two friendlies – against Fenerbahce (1:1) and Inter (0:3). The White-Blues have gained 19 points in domestic league (W-6, D-1, goal difference – 22:2). They’re the league leaders being 3 points ahead of Shakhtar.
Benfica have played 9 official games. They’ve won 5 out of 5 domestic league fixtures so far (goal difference – 13:2).
FC Dynamo Kyiv – SL Benfica
September 14, 22:00, NSC Olimpiyskyi
Broadcasting – MEGOGO
• The teams were paired in the 2016/17 group stage, Benfica winning 2:0 in Kyiv on Matchday 3 thanks to goals from Eduardo Salvio (9 pen.) and Franco Cervi (55) before Salvio (45+2) scored the only goal in Lisbon, again from the spot. Those six points helped the Eagles finish second to Napoli in Group B on eight points, with Dynamo eliminated in fourth place on five.
• The sides also met in the 1991/92 European Cup group stage when Dynamo won 1:0 at home, Oleh Salenko getting the only goal for Anatoliy Puzach’s team. Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Benfica emphatically turned the tables in the return, Brito and Sergei Yuran both scoring twice in a 5:0 win.