Without a Group B victory since Matchday 1, Dynamo Kyiv can still qualify for the round of 32 at home to eliminated Lugano.
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Without a victory in Group B since Matchday 1, Dynamo Kyiv can still qualify for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 by defeating a Lugano side who, with just two points from their five matches and one goal scored, are already destined to finish bottom of the group.
• Dynamo's run of three successive draws in the section ended in dramatic circumstances last time out when Malmö – the team they had defeated 1-0 at home on Matchday 1 – scored a last-gasp winner to beat them 4-3 in Sweden and leapfrog them into second place. Lugano's faint hopes of qualification, meanwhile, ended with a 1-0 defeat in Copenhagen.
• Three points behind group leaders Copenhagen and two in arrears of Malmö, Dynamo must beat Lugano to have any hope of advancing to the knockout phase. Should the match between Copenhagen and Malmö end in a home win or a draw, a victory for Dynamo will take them through, but if Malmö and Dynamo both win, leaving Copenhagen and Dynamo level on nine points, head-to-head parity between the teams from Denmark and Ukraine means that goal difference or goals scored will determine which of the two clubs accompanies the Swedish side into the round of 32.
• The clubs' first European encounter, in the Swiss town of St Gallen on Matchday 2, ended goalless.
• Dynamo have now played Swiss clubs 13 times in UEFA competition and are undefeated in the six home games (W3 D3), the most recent of them ending 2-2 against Young Boys in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Lugano's only other official encounters against Ukrainian opponents came in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, when they lost 0-3 at Shakhtar Donetsk before winning the second leg 2-1 in Switzerland.
• Ukrainian league runners-up to Shakhtar 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 comprehensively beaten 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 20 UEFA Europa League group stage encounters (W11 D7).
• Lugano finished third in the 2018/19 Swiss Super League – 45 points behind champions Young Boys – to secure group stage involvement in the UEFA Europa League for the second time in three seasons.
• Also third in 2016/17, Lugano – from the Italian-speaking Ticino canton – secured a first ever group stage participation the following season, having been absent from UEFA competition since 2002/03. They won three and lost three of their six matches, finishing third in Group G.
• In 14 European away matches to date, Lugano have earned just two wins (D2 L10) and scored only seven goals. Their record on the road in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W1 L4.
Links and trivia
• Benjamin Verbić (Dynamo) and Domen Črnigoj (Lugano) are current team-mates for the Slovenia national side.
• Dynamo's Tamás Kádár and Lugano's Filip Holender play together for Hungary.
• Dynamo's Carlos Zambrano played in Switzerland for Basel on loan in 2018/19 but did not feature in any of the club's four games against Lugano.
• Dynamo hold the record for the most draws registered in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final (22). Eleven of those have been at home.
• 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.
• Lugano appointed 56-year-old Maurizio Jacobacci as the club's new head coach on 28 October in place of Fabio Celestini. An experienced coach with a lengthy CV, Jacobacci arrived from third-tier neighbours Bellinzona, having previously served in the Swiss Super League with Sion from February to September 2018. A former striker, he played for several clubs, winning the Swiss league title with Neuchâtel Xamax in 1986/87, and led Vaduz of Liechtenstein to a famous 4-0 UEFA Cup qualifying win at Hungarian club Újpest two decades later.