September 30, 2008

Fenerbahce vs Dynamo Kiev (Kyiv) Champions League 08-09 Preview

Turkish giant Fenerbahce will take on Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev tonight at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, Kadıkoy-İstanbul, Turkey in a Champions league meeting. The Group G encounter will see out-of-form Fenerbahce hosting in-form Dynamo Kiev. Fenerbahce has been unimpressive so far this season. With six points from five matches so far, Fenerbahce recorded their worst start to Super League in 20 years. The Turkish club secures 10th place in the point table. Moreover, Fenerbahce started their Champions league campaign with a 3-1 away defeat at Porto. Dynamo Kiev, on the other hand, managed to clinch a point from their Champions league opener thanks to their 1-1 home draw against English giant Arsenal. So, confident Dynamo Kiev will face Fenerbahce who are yet to appear with their prime form this season.

Match: Fenerbahce vs Dynamo Kiev (Kyiv), Group G, Champions League 2008-2009

Date: 30 September 2008, Tuesday

Venue: Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, Kadikoy-Istanbul, Turkey

Kick off: 19:45 BST (British Standard Time)

Fenerbahce lost four out of their last seven matches overall. The Istanbul based club has received another blow recently as they were beaten by Sivasspor 2-1. However, Coach Luis Aragones thinks that his side’s poor domestic form will not affect his players in Champions league because he feels Champions league is a different motivation. Well, the Turkish club has a fearsome home record in Champions league. In their way to quarter final in Champions league last season, Fenerbahce won every match they played at home. At the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, they are currently on 14-match unbeaten streak since November 2004. So, Dynamo Kiev can not fancy at Fenerbahce’s poor league form. However, the head to head record favors Dynamoo Kiev. The two sides faced each other twice in 2006 in Champions league with Kiev winning at home 3-1, while sharing points at Fenerbahce thanks to a 2-2 draw.

Dynamo Kiev may have good domestic record so far as they are leading the point table with 22 points from 9 matches. Moreover, they will look to build on their recent 3-0 league victory over Kryvbas in the upcoming Champions league meeting with Fenerbahce. However, here I want to mention one thing about Kiev’s recent from of Champions league. Though Dynamo Kiev started off well in Champions league with 1-1 home draw against Arsenal, the fact is that the point they won against Arsenal is the first point they have won in their last eight group stage Champions league encounters.

Fenerbahce striker Semih Senturk is doubtful for the showdown against Dynamo Kiev. New signing Juan Pablo Josico, midfielder Gokcek Vederson and defender Edu Dracena are doubtful for tonight’s encounter. Last but not the least, Captain Alex De Souza, the star midfielder of Fenerbahce side, might also miss the match with injury. However, the good news for the Fenerbahce fans is that striker Daniel Guiza might be available for the Kiev match as the players is expected to recover fully from his injury problem.

Dynamo manager Yuri Semin does not need to contend with any major injury problems like his counterpart Luis Aragones needs to do. Yuri Semin is happy with the way Dynamo Kiev started their Champions league campaign. Dynamo might feature the same squad that faced Arsenal at home in the opening match. Midfielder Roman Eremenko played very well against Arsenal, while scorer Ismael Bangour also threatened to Arsenal defense many times throughout the match. Attack midfielder Oleksandr Aliyev has been in excellent form and scored two goals in Friday’s confidence-booster 3-0 league victory.

I think, Fenerbahce will be strong enough to be broken by Dynamo Kiev, even though the Turks are not at their prime form now. Dynamo Kiev will face hard challenge from the host side. Fenerbahce will also be motivated to pull off a resounding victory against Dynamo Kiev in order to compensate their domestic form. Moreover, after losing the first match to Porto, Fenerbahce need to come out with three points from this match in their pursuit to get into the round of 16 in Champions league.