FC Dynamo Kyiv will go into their Group G opener against Arsenal FC with something to prove after the Ukrainian side finished last season's group stage without a single point to their name.
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FC Dynamo Kyiv will go into their UEFA Champions League Group G opener against Arsenal FC with something to prove after a hugely disappointing performance in last season's competition.
• The Ukrainian side did not pick up a single point in the 2007/08 group stage – the worst record of any of the 32 teams. Their troubled campaign involved two changes of coach, Oleh Luzhny replacing Joszef Szabó who himself had succeeded Anatoliy Demianenko after Matchday 1, and ended with Dynamo rooted to the foot of their section with a goal difference of -15.
• Dynamo, who finished second in the Ukrainian Premier League last season, have a new man at the helm in Yuri Semin and will hope for a positive start against an Arsenal side who, for all their pedigree, have lost on all three previous visits to Ukraine.
• Semin's team certainly reached this season's group stage in some style, beating Russia's FC Spartak Moskva 8-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round.
• Two goals apiece from Ismaël Bangoura and Artem Milevskiy earned Spartak a 4-1 victory in Moscow and they achieved an identical success in the return, Olexandr Aliyev opening the scoring before Bangoura and Milevskiy (2) found the net once more.
• Surprisingly, given the scale of that victory, Dynamo had previously made heavy work of beating Drogheda United FC in the second qualifying round. It took an 86th-minute Aliyev strike to win the first leg 2-1 in Ireland and Dynamo were held 2-2 at home in the return, despite another Aliyev goal and Milevskiy's penalty.
• For Arsenal's part, they were comfortable 6-0 aggregate winners against Dutch side FC Twente in the third qualifying round.
• Third in the Premier League in 2007/08, Arsène Wenger's side secured a 2-0 first-leg advantage in Arnhem thanks to goals from William Gallas and Emmanuel Adebayor. Arsenal then strolled to a 4-0 win in the return, Samir Nasri, Gallas again, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner scoring.
• Arsenal reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season. After defeating AC Sparta Praha in the third qualifying round they advanced from the group stage in second place in their section, with a record of W4 D1 L1, and then beat holders AC Milan 2-0 in the first knockout round. However, their run then ended with a 5-3 aggregate defeat against Premier League rivals Liverpool FC.
• Dynamo have had the better of past matches against Arsenal. When the teams met in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage, Dynamo earned a 1-1 draw at Highbury and then won the return 3-1 in Ukraine.
• Serhiy Rebrov, Olexandr Golovko and Andriy Shevchenko scored for a Dynamo side who finished group winners en route to reaching the last four, while Stephen Hughes struck a late consolation for the visitors.
• The lineups for that match on 4 November 1998 were:
Dynamo: Oleksandr Shovkovskyi, Oleh Luzhny, Olexander Golovko, Vladyslav Vashchuk, Yuriy Dmytrulin, Vitalii Kossovskyi, Andriy Shevchenko, Sergiy Rebrov, Andrii Gusin, Vasyl Kardash, Valentin Belkevich (Yuriy Kalitvintsev).
Arsenal: David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Steve Bould (Gilles Grimandi), Martin Keown, Nelson Vivas (Remi Garde), Ray Parlour, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Luís Boa Morte (Stephen Hughes), Christopher Wreh.
• Dynamo won the sides' second meeting in Kiev 2-1 in the 2003/04 group stage. Maksim Shatskikh and Valentin Belkevich struck for the home side with Thierry Henry replying late on. However, Arsenal won the return 1-0 through an Ashley Cole goal and ended up topping the group with Dynamo down in fourth place.
• The lineups for that match on 21 October 2003 were:
Dynamo: Olexandr Shovkovskiy, Georgi Peev, Goran Gavrančić, Serhiy Fedorov, Andriy Nesmachniy, Oleh Gusev (Diogo Rincón), Yuriy Dmytrulin (Goran Sabljić), Jerko Leko, Tiberiu Ghioane (Aleksandr Khatskevich), Valentin Belkevich, Maksim Shatskikh.
Arsenal: Jens Lehmann, Lauren, Kolo Touré, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Ray Parlour (Fredrik Ljungberg), Edu (Patrick Vieira), Gilberto (Nwankwo Kanu), Robert Pirès, Sylvain Wiltord, Thierry Henry.
• Arsenal's other previous trip to Ukraine ended in a 3-0 defeat at FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2000/01 group stage.
• Dynamo's overall home record against English teams is P8 W3 D3 L2. Their most recent visitors from England were Manchester United FC, who prevailed 4-2 in Kiev last October.
• Arsenal got the better of an FC Lokomotiv Moskva side coached by Semin in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage. After a goalless draw in Russia, the London team won 2-0 at home in their final game to secure first place in the section – and eliminate their opponents.
• As coach of AS Monaco FC, Wenger oversaw a 1-0 aggregate defeat of Ukraine's FC Chornomorets Odesa in the 1990/91 UEFA Cup second round.
• FC Porto will face Fenerbahçe SK in the other Group G game taking place on Matchday 1.