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Dec 8, 2021 at 8pm UK
Dynamo KievDynamo Kiev
Yaremchuk (16'), Gilberto (22')
Gilberto (24')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Zabarnyi (29'), Verbic (36'), Tsygankov (44')

Preview: Benfica vs. Dynamo Kiev - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Benfica vs. Dynamo Kiev - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Benfica and Dynamo Kiev, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Presented with a real opportunity to try to pip Barcelona to second place, Benfica play host to Dynamo Kiev in Wednesday's Champions League Group E fixture.

The Portuguese hosts are two points behind Barca in third with one game remaining, while Mircea Lucescu's men are guaranteed to finish dead last.

Match preview

Amid reports claiming that Benfica are supposedly considering giving him the boot, Jorge Jesus has been presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to condemn Barcelona to Europa League football, assuming the Catalan giants cannot shock Bayern Munich away from home.

After holding the Blaugrana to a goalless draw at Camp Nou last month, the Portuguese giants need only win on Wednesday and hope that Barcelona do not better their result to claim second place and seal a route into the knockout rounds behind Bayern Munich.

Jesus's men were outplayed at the weekend, though, as Primeira Liga champions Sporting Lisbon stormed into a 3-0 lead at the Estadio da Luz before Pizzi came off the bench to score a consolation for Benfica in the sixth minute of second-half injury time.

That 3-1 loss to the league champions rather alarmingly marked Benfica's third loss from their last five at home across all competitions - and they have not kept a clean sheet in five at the Estadio da Luz - but Dynamo Kiev are only playing for pride on Wednesday.

Dynamo Kiev were always facing an uphill battle to prolong their continental run in the Champions League or Europa League, even with such an experienced veteran of the game in 76-year-old Mircea Lucescu in control of the reins.

The Ukrainian giants have only taken one point from a possible 15 in the group and most recently went down 2-1 to Bayern Munich, conceding to Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski before Denys Garmash made things interesting with 20 minutes remaining.

Dynamo Kiev deserve credit for giving the Bundesliga champions a good run for their money in that encounter, but such praise counts for nought in the standings, with Lucescu's men guaranteed to finish fourth and exit the competition this week.

Nine goals conceded in a group with Barca and Bayern is not the worst tally by any stretch, but Garmash's strike against Bayern is the only goal that the visitors have scored in Group E so far - only Malmo and fellow Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk have also scored just once in the 2021-22 competition.

Dynamo Kiev's only point in the group did come at home to Benfica in a goalless draw back in September, and a five-game domestic winning streak on the road could set them up well to spoil the Portuguese party on Wednesday night.

Benfica Champions League form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Benfica form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Dynamo Kiev Champions League form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Dynamo Kiev form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

The likes of Alex Grimaldo, Nicolas Otamendi and Julian Weigl are all one booking away from incurring a one-match suspension, but Jesus is unlikely to take that into account as he goes in search of a potentially priceless three points this week.

Lucas Verissimo, Diogo Goncalves, Rodrigo Pinho and Nemanja Radonjic are all set to miss out through injury, with Morato potentially deputising in defence for the former as Andre Almeida demotes Valentino Lazaro down to the bench.

Pizzi's consolation against Sporting may not be enough to see him return to the first XI, but Roman Yaremchuk will certainly expect to come back in the final third.

As for Dynamo Kiev, there are very few updates on the injury front, with forwards Artem Besedin, Vladyslav Supryaga and Ibrahim Kargbo Jr all absent once more.

Centre-back Denys Popov is a long-term injury concern with his cruciate ligament rupture, and the Ukrainian team are the only side in Group E not to have had a player banned for an accumulation of yellow cards.

Benjamin Verbic scored twice at the weekend in a 3-0 success at NK Veres Rivne, and Lucescu may reward the 28-year-old with another start here given that nothing is on the line.

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Morato, Otamendi, Vertonghen; Almeida, Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo; Silva, Yaremchuk, Nunez

Dynamo Kiev possible starting lineup:
Bushchan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Shabanov, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk, Shaparenko; Tsygankov, Garmash, Verbic; Kulach

We say: Benfica 2-0 Dynamo Kiev

Dynamo Kiev can afford to play without fear at the Estadio da Luz, but their lack of ruthlessness in the Champions League will likely cost them before they bow out of the competition.

An expected triumph for Benfica could very well see them clamber into the top two at the expense of Barcelona, and Jesus's side should have no problem doing their bit while the Catalans seek to spring a surprise in Munich.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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