Messi excluded as Dynamo Kiev take on Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Round 4

Dynamo Kiev reasserted their domestic authority by claiming their fourth win 'to nil' of their league campaign at the weekend. Interestingly though, two of their three home victories with a clean sheet in all 2020/21 competitions were collected in the qualification stages of the UEFA Champions League (UCL). The task now is to complete a fourth consecutive UCL group stage with at least one win 'to nil', whilst also snapping a run of three straight defeats as an outsider in all competitions.

However, that seems unlikely on this occasion. In addition to a spate of COVID-19 positives, Dynamo lament a winless D6, L7 record at all venues against Spanish opposition this century, having suffered three defeats (1-2, 1-2, 0-2) from their three encounters with Barcelona during that time. Landing the first punch will be key, particularly as the team to score first has won all of their 2020/21 UCL matches except their 2-2 draw with Ferencváros (including qualifiers).

To Dynamo's detriment, Barcelona have scored within the first 30 minutes in eight of their last ten UEFA matches (W7, D2, L1), allowing them to enjoy HT/FT doubles in four of their last five continental outings after achieving just two from the eight prior to that.

Their defending, however, has not been so admirable. As well as just one clean sheet across their last nine games in all competitions (W4, D2, L3), both teams have scored in seven of Barcelona's last eight UEFA fixtures.

Players to watch: Three of Carlos de Pena's last four goals for Dynamo have been earned on the continental stage, all netted in the first half.

Amid a raft of missing players, including the resting of Lionel Messi, Barcelona could look to Ousmane Dembélé for goals - he's never been on the losing side for Barca when scoring (W17, D3).

Hot stat: Barcelona have failed to win five of their last nine matches as a favourite in all competitions (D2, L3).

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