Dynamo face must-win PSG test
Dynamo Kiev go into their Champions League must-win encounter with big-spending Paris Saint Germain on the back of a disappointing domestic league defeat and with injury concerns.
Dynamo were without several first-choice players for their 1-0 weekend loss to Metalurg Donetsk after coach Oleg Blokhin rested Nigerian forward Brown Ideye, while defender Taras Mykhalik and Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar were sidelined with injuries.
Injured Brazilian forward Raffael will likely miss the Group A match, which sees the Ukrainian giants needing a win to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.
The club currently lie third in the group on four points, with Porto leading the way on 10 points and PSG, who also lost at the weekend, second on nine. All the teams have two games remaining.
Blokhin was upset with his team's performance in Donetsk, fearing that the defeat could hit preparations for the Champions League encounter.
"We played really badly against Metalurg, showing lack of willpower and fighting spirit (but) we are coming into the match with PSG in low spirits following such a lacklustre performance."
The veteran coach said he would urge his players to put the league defeat out of their minds.
"We have no other choice but to win to keep alive our chances for a place in the knockout stage," he said. "It will be a really tough mission but we will fight up to the end until we have a slightest chance to make it."
PSG, who slipped off the top of the French league table following their weekend home loss to nine-man Rennes, will be without Jeremy Menez, who has an ankle injury.
But they will have talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic back after the striker, who floored England last week with four goals, missed the Rennes defeat through suspension.
Thiago Motta and Mamadou Sakho will also return as PSG look to build on a strong record against Ukrainian sides. Their only loss in nine previous encounters was a 2009 UEFA Cup quarter-final defeat, in Kiev.