Preview: AEK Larnaca vs Dynamo Kyiv – prediction, team news, line-ups
Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Europa League clash between AEK Larnaca and Dynamo Kyiv, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
AEK Larnaca be the host of DynamoKiev Thursday evening with the possibility of securing a place in the Europa Conference League after Christmas.
These two teams are already in contention when it comes to the top two of their Europa League group, with Kyiv losing each of their four matches in Group B.
Having never qualified for the knockout stages of any European competition, Larnaca would have been realistic about their chances of breaking ground, but expectations have risen at the Cypriot side.
A 1-0 second leg win over Thursday’s opponents currently makes the difference between third and fourth place, effectively leaving Larnaca in a position where a draw will be enough for Europa Conference League football after Christmas.
Fenerbahçe and Rennes having escaped with this group, it is the best that Jose Luis Oltracan achieve, but it would represent a historic moment in their history.
However, the Greens-Yellows have been inconsistent since early September, recording five wins and six losses in 11 games in all competitions.
After eight matches on the home front, Larnaca sit fifth in the standings, seven points behind the leader.
Meanwhile, Dynamo Kyiv are far from their best since Ukrainian football resumed, and the pressure is starting to mount in a footballing sense.
Of course, priorities have changed since the Russian military invasion, but Mircea LucescuThe team are currently eighth in the top flight and are set to leave Europe prematurely.
On a positive note, victory at AEK Arena – Georgios Karapatakis will move Kyiv back to third place on goal difference, putting Larnaca in a position where they need something from their trip to Rennes on matchday six.
Although the margins are small, a result has the potential to turn Kyiv’s season around, giving their fans some well-deserved optimism and happiness, at least on a small scale.
Form of AEK Larnaca in the Europa League:
Form of Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League:
Dynamo kyiv form (all competitions):
Larnaca could be without striker and captain Ivan Trickowski after being taken off at half-time in the weekend game at APOEL Nicosia.
Jose Romo replaced the Macedonian on this occasion, and the same change could be made for Thursday’s match.
Angel Garcia is also bleeding a suspension, with Nikos Englezou in line for an opportunity at left-back.
Lucescu will likely make some changes to the squad that could only draw with Vorskla last time out, with Denys Harmasch should be reminded.
Volodymyr Shepelev can also return to midfield, but Vladyslav Dubinchak is expected to miss due to the injury that kept him out of the squad this weekend.
Possible starting line-up of AEK Larnaca:
Piric; Rosales, Tomovic, Milicevic, Garcia; Ledes, Pons; Naoum, Altman, Gyurcso; Rome
Possible starting line-up of Dynamo Kyiv:
Neshcheret; Kedziora, Popov, Syrota, Karavaev; Shepelev, Sydorchuk, Buyalskyi; Tsygankov, Harmash, Kabaev
We say: AEK Larnaca 1-1 Dynamo Kyiv
Having suffered no heavy defeats throughout their campaign in the group stage, Kyiv will always feel they can extend their stay in Europe. However, we back Larnaca to do enough to claim a share of the spoils, securing third place in the process.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.