Dynamo Kiev v Chelsea: Don’t expect a damp squib in Ukraine


A 2-0 victory over Aston Villa will have done wonders for the confidence around Stamford Bridge on Saturday as Chelsea ended a three game winless run, but they now face a very different test.

A trip to Ukraine to take on Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League will divulge as to whether the Blues have really turned the corner, or they were simply better than a poor Villa side.

Jose Mourinho’s men will though, certainly come into the tie in the right spirits after the weekend’s Premier League tie.

And after a defeat to Porto last time out in the competition, three points in eastern Europe is a necessity to keep pressure on the top spot in Group G.

Their opponents don’t enter the fixture in quite such high spirits.

Kiev were dominated by title rivals Shakhtar Donetsk on Friday to go down to 3-0 defeat and witness their 38-game unbeaten run in the league come to an end.

Those simply expecting an away victory with the two sides heading in opposite directions this week could be left red faced though.

In Europe the Ukrainians have a proud recent record, losing just one of their last 10 matches in either the Champions League or Europa League.

Chelsea on the other hand have won just two of their last nine Champions League games away from west London, making the 6/4 on offer for a Blues victory look a little risky.

Instead one thing that looks fairly likely to deliver at the NSK Olimpiysky this evening is goals.

Four of the hosts’ last five games on their own patch have seen at least three goals scored, as have Chelsea’s last six on the road.

Taking the Evens on their being over 2.5 goals this time round looks well worth an investment.

With goals set to be forthcoming, some may feel that backing the likes of Eden Hazard or Diego Costa to net any time is a way to bolster the odds, but taking such a route comes with plenty of risks.

While some sides rely on one or two players for the majority of their strikes, in Europe, Chelsea like to do things a little differently.

Their last nine goals in the Champions League have been scored by nine different players, while their last 16 have come from 14 different sources.

Picking out a man to shine under the lights in Kiev looks a tricky proposition, but with neither defence rock solid this term and goals coming in abundance, there is set to be a lot to like for the neutral in this encounter.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.