Preview: Dynamo Kyiv vs Sturm Graz – prediction, team news, line-ups
Sports Mole preview Wednesday’s Champions League clash between Dynamo Kyiv and Sturm Graz, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
The Stadion Miejski im. Wladyslawa Krola in Poland hosts a Champions League first leg of the third qualifying round on Tuesday, while DynamoKiev take charge Sturm Graz.
Powerhouses Ukraine have overtaken Fenerbahce in the second qualifying round, while their Austrian counterparts enter at this stage of the tournament.
Even amid devastating scenes of conflict across their homeland, Dynamo kyiv – led by a steadfast veteran Mircea Lucescu – used all his continental experience to knock Fenerbahçe out of the Champions League in the second qualifying round.
Neither side was able to make the breakthrough in the first leg, but a particularly bad-tempered second leg got the Ukrainians their way after extra time, as Vitaliy Buyalskyi and Oleksandr Karavaev scored against the 10 men of Fenerbahçe.
While a plethora of players have fled Ukraine under new FIFA legislation allowing them to do so, Lucescu has retained the core of his first team players, and they are preparing for the start of the new Ukrainian Premier League season on August 20.
The Ukrainian side were welcomed with open arms by Everton for a friendly on Friday, in which they lost 3-0, but the scoreline was meaningless when the Toffees allowed a supporter Paul Straton – who delivered food to Ukrainian refugees – to show up and score a penalty.
Dynamo Kyiv have reached the Champions League group stage in each of the past two seasons, but have only passed that stage once since the start of the millennium, and Sturm Graz will have no place for sentimentality here.
This week’s visitors couldn’t stop juggernaut Red Bull Salzburg from storming the Austrian Bundesliga title in the 2021-22 campaign, but they have already thrown the cat among the pigeons during the embryonic stages of the current season.
Christian IlzerThe side hosted the champions in Saturday’s league encounter and won 2-1, with the 19-year-old Danish starlet Rasmus Hojlund net twice in front of his compatriot Maurits Kjaergaard grabbed a consolation for Salzburg.
Four points from their opening two games propelled Sturm Graz to the top of the Austrian Bundesliga table, and victory over the starters set Ilzer’s side perfectly up for their return to continental action.
Die Schwoazn played in the Champions League group stage three years in a row between 1999 and 2001, but have not done so since, nor have they been able to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League last season.
Dynamo Kyiv Champions League form:
Sturm Graz form (all competitions):
Dynamo Kyiv striker Ibrahim Karbo is still on the long road to healing from a fractured tibia and fibula, while the left-back Volodymyr Kostevich will also remain absent for the continental meeting.
After scoring the decisive goal in the 114th minute against Fenerbahçe, Karavaev challenges Tomasz Kedziora for the right-back position but the Pole will want to start in his homeland.
The hosts managed to keep hold of a highly rated centre-back Ilya Zabarnyi at the moment, and all eyes should be on the 19-year-old this week.
Meanwhile, the Sturm Graz striker Jacob Jantscher is in rehabilitation for a muscle turn, but the 33-year-old would have had very little chance of moving a man 14 years his junior to Hojlund.
Otar Kiteishvili and Niklas Geyrhofer also occupy places in the treatment room, but Ilzer will be reluctant to change the weekend’s winning formula anyway.
Possible starting line-up of Dynamo Kyiv:
Bushchan; Kedziora, Zabarnyi, Popov, Dubinchak; Sydorchuk, Shaparenko; Tsygankov, Buyalskyi, Verbic; Bésedine
Possible starting lineup for Sturm Graz:
Siebenhandl; Gazibegovic, Wuthrich, Borkovic, Dante; Hierlander, Gorenc Stankovic, Prass; Horvat; Hojlund, Sarkaria
We say: Dynamo Kyiv 1-1 Sturm Graz
Sturm Graz started the new season with the intention of continuing and should play without fear after getting the better of Salzburg, but Dynamo Kyiv will be tougher than ever.
Lucescu’s tight-knit side needed more time and an extra man to finally get the better of Fenerbahce, but we simply can’t separate the two teams here and expect the tie to be settled at the moment. return match.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.