Top spot in Group B is up for grabs as Dynamo Kyiv entertain Copenhagen in the Ukrainian capital.
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Top spot in Group B is up for grabs as Dynamo Kyiv entertain Copenhagen in the Ukrainian capital, both clubs having collected four points from their opening two fixtures.
• Dynamo beat Malmö 1-0 at home on Matchday 1 before drawing 0-0 away to Lugano, while the Danish champions overcame the Swiss side 1-0 in Copenhagen and then held Malmö 1-1 in southern Sweden.
• The clubs are meeting in UEFA competition for the first time.
• Dynamo have won nine of their 14 UEFA matches against Danish clubs (D3 L2), including four of the seven at home (D2 L1). Victorious in all six of their knockout ties, they traded wins with Aalborg in the only previous group stage encounters, a 0-3 defeat in Denmark preceding a 2-0 win in Ukraine in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League. Both clubs progressed to the knockout phase, Dynamo going all the way to the quarter-finals
• Copenhagen are unbeaten in four games against Ukrainian opposition, winning both home games and drawing on their two trips to Ukraine, the first of them in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage, when they held Vorskla Poltava 1-1 with striker Dame N'Doye scoring at both ends.
• Ukrainian league runners-up to Shakhtar Donetsk last term, for the third year in a row, Dynamo entered the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round but were defeated by Club Brugge (0-1 a, 3-3 h), which sent them directly into the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• This is Dynamo's seventh UEFA Europa League group stage campaign, five of the previous six having been successful, including last season when three wins and two draws secured their place in the knockout phase with a game to spare. They then eliminated Olympiacos to reach the last 16, where they were overwhelmed 8-0 on aggregate by Chelsea (0-3 a, 0-5 h).
• That 0-5 defeat by Chelsea was the heaviest Dynamo have suffered at home in European competition. They have, however, been beaten just twice in Kyiv in the UEFA Europa League group stage (W11 D6).
• Copenhagen regained the Superliga crown last term, relegating title holders Midtjylland into second place to become Danish champions for the third time in four seasons – and 13th in all. They lost on penalties to Crvena zvezda of Serbia in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round but were 3-2 aggregate winners over Latvian champions Riga (3-1 h, 0-1 a) in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• Like Dynamo, the Danish club are taking part in a seventh UEFA Europa League group stage. However, they have made further progress just twice, most recently in 2017/18, when they lost in the round of 32 to eventual winners Atlético Madrid (1-4 h, 0-1 a). They finished bottom of their group last season with five points.
• An own goal from Malmö's Lasse Nielsen on Matchday 2 was the first goal scored by Copenhagen in four UEFA Europa League away games, play-offs included. That result in Sweden means the Danish side have drawn half of their 16 away games in the group stage of the competition (W2 L6), including all of the last four on Matchday 3.
Links and trivia
• Dynamo's Slovenian international midfielder Benjamin Verbić played for Copenhagen from July 2015 to December 2017, when he moved to Kyiv. He made 99 appearances in all competitions, scoring 22 goals, and won the Danish league and cup double in both of his two full seasons at the club.
• Danish midfielder Mikkel Duelund joined Dynamo from Copenhagen's domestic rivals Midtjylland in 2018. He faced Copenhagen nine times in the Superliga, winning four matches, losing five and scoring one goal.
• Copenhagen's Nicklas Bendtner scored Arsenal's late winner at home to Dynamo on Matchday 5 of the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League.
• Dynamo hold the record for the most draws registered in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final (20).
• Following a lengthy stint as Dynamo Kyiv's sporting director, club great Olexiy Mykhaylychenko was appointed as head coach for a second time in August 2019 following the dismissal of Aleksandr Khatskevich. A star of EURO '88 and the same year's Olympic Games in Seoul, where he won a gold medal, the blond left-footer claimed league titles for Dynamo (four) as well as his subsequent clubs Sampdoria and Rangers (five). A two-time Ukrainian champion as a coach in his first stint at Dynamo, from 2002–04, he led the Ukraine national side from January 2008 to December 2009.
• Ståle Solbakken's second coaching tenure at Copenhagen began in 2013. He has won eight Danish titles in charge of the club – five of those in his first spell from 2006 to 2011 – plus four domestic cups. The former Norway midfielder won 58 caps and scored nine goals for his country, appearing at both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000, before being forced to retire following a heart attack. He also had short spells coaching in Germany (Köln) and England (Wolves) between two lengthy stints in the Danish capital.
The FootballPeople weeks take place from 10 to 24 October 2019 and are organised by UEFA's social responsibility partner Fare. The weeks are a global campaign aimed at tackling discrimination and celebrating diversity in football. The UEFA Europa League is offering its full support to the FootballPeople weeks; teams will line up for a mixed photo with the referees, while an #EqualGame hashtag will also be on display. Videos will be played on giant screens at stadiums across Europe, and child mascots will be wearing #FootballPeople t-shirts. UEFA's collaboration with the Fare network's FootballPeople weeks has been running since 2001. The aim of this initiative fits in perfectly with the goals of #EqualGame, which is looking to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility.