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Dynamo Kyiv

Dynamo Kiev 'only have 13 players available' for Barcelona clash, says manager Lucescu

20:43 GMT 03/11/2020
Dynamo Kiev
The Ukrainians will be without nine players who have tested positive for Covid-19, making a difficult task at Camp Nou even more challenging

Dynamo Kiev head coach Mircea Lucescu has said his side will only have 13 players available when they face Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday. 

The Ukranian outfit has recently seen several players and coaches test positive for Covid-19, and will be forced to go into the Group G clash at Camp Nou badly shorthanded. 

On Sunday, Dynamo confirmed that six players had tested positive: Heorhiy Tsytaishvili, Denys Harmash, Mikkel Duelund, Olexandr Karavayev, Tudor Baluta, and Mykola Shaparenko.

Those six were added to three players who had previously been confirmed as positive: Heorhiy Bushchan, Vitaliy Mykolenko and Denys Boyko. In addition, assistant coach Emil Caras and four staff members were also confirmed to have the virus. 

Wednesday's fixture was in danger of being postponed, with UEFA rules stating that teams must have at least 13 players available from their A squad list for a given match. 

After all 13 of Dynamo's players who travelled tested negative on Tuesday, the match will now be allowed to proceed.

In his press conference on Tuesday, Lucescu said that his side would have to make do with what they have against the Liga giants, adding that he would have rather played under different circumstances.

"We only have 13 players available, there's not a lot to change so our tactics will be playing football," Lucescu said.

"The problem will be tomorrow when playing. As a coach it would have been better to play another day but we must play and we will."

Lucescu also offered his opinion on Barcelona's chances in this season's tournament, saying that he believes Ronald Koeman's side is not yet at the level required to win the Champions League. 

"I don't think Barcelona has the level now to win the Champions League," Lucescu said. "Bayern, [Manchester] City or PSG have more options.

"They have a footballer like Leo Messi, who can be very important. A new coach needs a minimum of six months and in the spring it will be a different team."

Speaking about Barca star Messi, Lucescu added: "He is doing incredible things, he doesn't think about himself but about the club.

"He fights, he gives assists and he scores because he wants to help the young players. He sacrifices himself for the collective."