Dinamo Zagreb - Dynamo Kiev Preview: European pride at stake for eliminated pair
The two sides have only bragging rights to vie for, with the visitors through to the Europa League and the hosts eliminated from Europe
By Renger Dotinga
Vrsjalko, Vida, Simunic, Pivaric
Beciraj, Brozovic, Halilovic
Silva, Mikhalik, Khac'di, Taiwo
Mehmedi, Garmash, Raffael
Zagreb coach Ante Cacic has been erratic in his choice of line-ups this Champions League campaign, and could hand a start to attacking midfielder Allen Halilovic, the 16-year old prodigy on the radar of many of Europe's elite sides. If chosen in the starting XI the Croatian can be fielded in any of the attacking midfield slots supporting the lone striker.
Oleg Blokhin looks set to hand starts to a host of second-string charges, with Mehmedi and Garmash both expected to start. Star striker Ideye Brown will be hopeful of retaining his forward berth, but could be rested in favour of Andriy Yarmolenko.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Dinamo Zagreb have been eliminated from European competition this term. The Croatian side currently sit rock bottom of Group A without a single point to their name.
- The Plavi are the only side in the Champions League yet to score a goal, having scored only three in last season's edition of the tournament. Ante Cacic's men have only conceded 13 group stage goals up to this point however, compared to last term's record high of 22.
- The Stadion Maksimir outfit are a much greater force to be reckoned with domestically, having claimed last season's Prva NHL title and on course to retain their crown.
- Dynamo Kiev have qualified for the Europa League with a third placed finish in Group A. Paris Saint-Germain lay eight points above Tuesday's visitors, meaning Champions League progression is out of reach for the Bilo-Syni.
- The Ukranian side, until recently the of home of former Chelsea forward Andriy Schevchenko, have recorded more UPL titles than any other side, with 13.
- Oleh Blokhin (pictured), who took over at the Olimpiyski Stadium following an unsuccessful campaign with Ukraine at Euro 2012, bagged eight domestic titles while at the club as a player from 1969 to 1988.
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Top 3 Predictions
Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Dynamo Kiev
- 17.01 %
Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Dynamo Kiev
- 15.98 %
Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 Dynamo Kiev
- 11.86 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Dec 4, 2012||Dinamo Zagreb 1 - Dynamo Kiev 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 3, 2012||Dynamo Kiev 2 - Dinamo Zagreb 0|
|Dec 12, 2013||Dinamo Zagreb 1 - PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 2||EL|
|Nov 28, 2013||FK Chornomorets Odessa 2 - Dinamo Zagreb 1||EL|
|Nov 7, 2013||PSV 2 - Dinamo Zagreb 0||EL|
|Oct 24, 2013||Dinamo Zagreb 0 - PSV 0||EL|
|Oct 3, 2013||PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 3 - Dinamo Zagreb 0||EL|
|25||Haruna Abdulkarim Lukman||Midfielder|
If Halilovic features, Europe's finest are likely to sit up and take note of the youngster's performance. The 16-year-old is reportedly attracting serious interest from Manchester City, and a fine display here could boost the prodigy's price tag up even further.
The striker has led the line admirably in Europe, and will be relishing the chance of going up against a particularly porous rearguard.
Ante Cacic will send out his charges with one objective - to score. The Croatians will not want to become only the third team in history to fail to register a goal in the group stage. The visitors may well rotate their line-up and that could make for an entertaining contest.