Dynamo Kyiv vs Lazio – Thursday, March 15, 18:00 GMT/19:00 CET – NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kyiv, Ukraine
On paper, it seemed a foregone conclusion that SS Lazio would waltz through this tie. After thrashing Steaua Bucharest in the second leg of the Round of 32, it was expected Le Aquile would earn a similar result at home against Dynamo Kyiv in the first leg of the Round of 16. What unfolded, however, was unexpected.
Viktor Tsygankov opened the scoring and took the lead for the away team, where the young Ukrainian netted his goal with a cheeky finish. The lead was to be short-lived, however, when Lazio’s Ciro Immobile equalised minutes later. Felipe Anderson’s effort then took the Italians up 2-1, but the Ukrainians persisted and found their second goal through Junior Moraes.
Immobile nearly had an opportunity to steal the match for Le Aquile at the death, though his effort hit the post and the match ended 2-2. The result means everything is open for the second leg. However, the Ukrainians hold a slight advantage coming into the second leg. Knowing a victory or a low scoring draw will see them through, the Ukrainians will surely hope to put on a strong display at home to qualify for the 2017/18 Europa League Quarter-finals.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Lazio – Players to Watch
Denys Boyko #71 – Dynamo Kyiv
The former Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk goalkeeper played a vital role in helping his side reach the 2014/15 Europa League final. Following this remarkable season, the Ukrainian joined Turkish club Beşiktaş in the summer of 2015. His value, however, has since fallen and he has found himself back on loan in Ukraine. Having earned an impressive result away from home, Boyko will need to be instrumental if Dynamo are to advance to the Europa League Quarter-finals.
Sergej Milinković-Savić #21 – SS Lazio
The young midfielder has had a strong spell at Lazio, scoring 22 goals in 111 appearances in all competitions. Having won the Supercoppa Italiana with Le Aquile in 2017, European clubs outside of Italy have started to take notice in the Serb, with Manchester United rumoured to be his next destination. Should the rumours be true, this match will allow Milinković-Savić an opportunity to impress his future employers, where progression to the Europa League’s Quarter-finals would surely raise his stock.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Lazio – Match Stats
- The first leg in Italy ended 2-2, where both sides only had three shots on target.
- Dynamo Kyiv’s Denys Harmash is suspended for this match.
- Dynamo Kyiv are unbeaten at home in European competitions this season, having won 5 and drawn 2 (UEFA Champions League qualification, Europa League qualification, Europa League Group Stage and the Europa League Round of 32).
- SS Lazio’s away record in the 2017/18 Europa League is mixed, having won 2 and lost 2.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Dynamo Kyiv vs SS Lazio – 1-2
Dynamo Kyiv vs Lazio – Possible Starting Lineups
Boyko – Kedziora, Burda, Kádár, Pivarić – Buyalsky, Shepelev – Morozyuk, Shaparenko, Tsygankov – Moraes
Manager: Aleksandr Khatskevich
Strakosha – Wallace, Vrij, Radu – Basta, Murgia, Leiva, Milinković-Savić, Lukaku – Anderson – Immobile
Manager: Claudio Lotito
Mark Temnycky is a Ukrainian-American who earned a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in June 2017. He is pursuing a career in international relations and foreign policy. Follow Mark on Twitter @MTem33