Skënderbeu v Dynamo Kyiv background

Dynamo Kyiv booked their round of 32 place last time out and could confirm themselves as Group B winners should they pick up another away victory at bottom side Skënderbeu.

Dynamo Kyiv celebrate reaching the round of 32
Dynamo Kyiv celebrate reaching the round of 32 ©AFP/Getty Images

Bottom hosts top in UEFA Europa League Group B as Skënderbeu seek their first win of the section against a Dynamo Kyiv side that became the first team to clinch qualification for the round of 32 on matchday four.

• Dynamo qualified thanks to a 1-0 win at Young Boys last time out and will go through as group winners should they complete a clean sweep of away victories. Indeed, any result in Elbasan would be good enough to guarantee the Ukrainian side first place with a game to spare should Partizan fail to win the other Group B encounter at home to Young Boys.

Previous meetings
Dynamo came from a goal down to beat Skënderbeu 3-1 in Kyiv on matchday one, goals from Serhiy Sydorchuk, Júnior Moraes and Dieumerci Mbokani (penalty) seeing them home after Gjergji Muzaka had given the visitors a shock lead. It was Dynamo's first encounter against Albanian opposition.

• In their only previous tie against Ukrainian opponents, Skënderbeu traded 1-0 home wins with Chornomorets Odesa in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League play-offs before losing on penalties in Tirana.

Form guide
• Skënderbeu have not won in six European fixtures (D4 L2), drawing the last three at home, and have claimed just one win in ten UEFA Europa League group games, losing seven of them. They are, however, unbeaten in six European matches on Albanian soil this term (W3 D3).

• Dynamo have not lost a European fixture this season, winning four and drawing two of their six encounters. They have won nine of their last 11 UEFA Europa League group games (D1 L1).

• Domestic cup runners-up last term, Skënderbeu were the first Albanian side to contest a major UEFA group stage when they featured in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League.

• Ukrainian Premier League runners-up in 2016/17, Dynamo reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals in 2010/11 and 2014/15, when they last competed in this group stage.

• Dynamo have now completed their fourth successful UEFA Europa League group stage (out of five participations) and their third in a row.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Kyiv to Elbasan, where Skënderbeu are playing their European home games, is around 1,300km.

• Skënderbeu's Tefik Osmani (Metalurh Zaporizhya 2005–06) and Kristi Vangjeli (Chornomorets 2011–13) have both played league football in Ukraine.

Highlights: Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 Skënderbeu
Highlights: Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 Skënderbeu

• Skënderbeu are one of three teams to have reached the UEFA Europa League group stage having begun their campaign in the first qualifying round; Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Crvena zvezda are the others.

• Skënderbeu goalkeeper Orges Shehi is the ninth player over the age of 40 to have played in the UEFA Europa League and the oldest participant in this season's competition.

• Dynamo striker Mbokani, whose 32nd birthday is on the eve of this fixture, needs one more goal to reach 20 in European club competition.

• Vitaliy Buyalskiy, Dynamo's match-winner at Young Boys, is suspended for this match after collecting his third yellow card of the group stage in that game.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Gledi Mici and Bajram Jashanica (Skënderbeu); Artem Kravets (Dynamo).

The coaches
• Appointed in January 2017, Ilir Daja led Skënderbeu to the Albanian Cup final, which they lost to KF Tirana, and then steered them into this group stage. A former midfielder with Tirana, he has guided Elbasan and Dinamo Tirana to domestic championships as a coach.

• Hired as coach in July 2017, Aleksandr Khatskevich won seven league titles as a Dynamo player from 1996–2004, and later worked with the club's youth and reserve teams. The 38-times capped international coached his native Belarus from 2014–16.