Barcelona vs Dynamo Kiev, Champions League, September 29, 2009
History has a strange way of repeating itself.
On Tuesday night in the Champions League, Catalan giants Barcelona host Ukrainian powerhouse Dynamo Kiev in a match which 16-years-ago exactly produced one of the finest performances in Barca folklore.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg in Kiev, Barca, under the guidance of the great Johan Cruyff, were up against it at the kick-off. What transpired though was a masterclass in football as first Danish forward Michael Laudrup and then former Spain international Jose Mari Bakero scored inside the opening 17 minutes to drag the Catalans back level on aggregate.
But, having not read the script, Kiev soon got their noses back in front in the tie as Sergei Rebrov (later of Tottenham infamy) thumped a half-volley into the far corner from 20-yards out.
Barca refused to lose though, and from a Ronald Koeman free-kick in the second half Jose Mari Bakero headed home the hosts’ third to renew hope in the Nou Camp. With their tails up and roared on by a passionate home crowd the match then had the memorable grandstand finish, as Dutch master Ronald Koeman converted a direct free-kick to fire the arca Dream Team into the second round.
Footage of that memorable match can be seen here.
Heading into Tuesday’s match, both Barca and Kiev are flying after a terrific start to their respective seasons. Kiev, themselves, boast a solid league run having won seven of their last eight domestic matches. Barca’s last defeat came as far back as May when they fell to a narrow loss at home to Osasuna, albeit with the league already in their hands.
Thierry Henry is a serious doubt for the match having picked up a thigh injury against Malaga on Saturday and Israeli starlet Guy Assulin is tipped to make his first appearance, possibly as a sub.Â Elsewhere, defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy looks a likely absentee having suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the same match.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (8/13 to score) should start for the Spanish giants having scored at the weekend after a minor ankle injury, while Leo Messi (3/1 to score first) will be aiming to shine at the Nou Camp once more.
For the visitors, defender Taras Mykhalyk and striker Artem Kravets are expected to return for the trip to Spain after lengthy lay-offs. Reserve-team starlets Denys Harmash and Kyrylo Petrov have been named in the provisional squad for the trip to the Catalan capital.
101predicts: Barcelona 3 – Dynamo Kiev 0 (11/2)
Full match odds here.