DYNAMO KIEV VS PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
VENUE: Olympic Stadium
Date: 21st November 2012
Kick-Off: 19:45 (GMT)
Paris Saint-Germain can really put an end to their recent woes with a result in Kiev tomorrow night where qualification for the last-16 of the Champions League can be secured.
The dismal result at the weekend has been greeted with dismay from players and fans like – no more so than the coach Carlo Ancelotti. He has emphasised the need in a change of attitude if the team are to progress and ultimately capture major honours come next spring.
Tomorrow really is a fantastic opportunity. Much of the hard work has been accomplished but just one major hurdle is left to overcome. A result (draw) in Ukraine will avoid the possibility of needing a result in the final game against Portuguese giants FC Porto. With a five point gap between ourselves and third placed Kiev, the ball is certainly in their court and it will be up to them if they gung-ho. Oleh Blokhin’s team have to win if they stand any chance of qualification. Anything other than that will result in their elimination with Les Parisiens reaping the reward with a glamour second-round tie(s) next February.
Our opponents have been blowing hot and cold in their domestic calendar. They trail league leaders Shakhtar Donetsk by a monstrous 14 points – far too big a gap for a club of their statue. Their home form has been impressive but it is just on their travels where they have wobbled. Just the one defeat on home turf has occurred in the league this season, and in Europe they have successfully picked up a win and a draw in the two games. It will be a really difficult prospect for PSG, especially when you bear in mind the win in Zagreb several weeks back was the first in 10 away games in European competition.
Dynamo possess a wealth of talent in their ranks. Their set-up is similar to ours and they may utilise a Christmas tree formation. At home, domestically they like to play with two men up top and they will perhaps opt to do that considering they need all three points. The 23-year-old Nigerian striker Ideye Brown will lead the attack on his own. He has been in sterling form, already netting 10 goals this season. He will be familiar to French football fans as he spent a successful season at Sochaux before moving to Ukraine last year. He is quick, agile, loves to make runs in behind the defence and his finishing is devastating.
He even netted a brace for Nigeria last week away to Venezuela in a 3-1 romp so he is most definitely looking to carry that form into this.
The first fixture between us culminated in one of the finest Parisien performances in recent years. A 4-1 romp in which every single player excelled. Thiago Silva made his debut in that game and has not looked back since. The influence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic was important and will be again as he returns to the fold following his suspension. I do not need to illustrate how important he is to the cause and could be the difference tomorrow night.
Note: Mathieu Bodmer, Kevin Gameiro, Christophe Jallet and Jeremy Menez are all out.