Dynamo Kyiv +0.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.93 with Bet365 - 2 units (min 1.87)
- Dynamo took out Club Brugge 2:1 on aggregate as they avoided defeat in both legs while keeping the Belgians very quiet.
- Brugge had a better UCL campaign than Dynamo and even pushed Lazio for qualification in the final game. They're a good side, and Dynamo did a great job neutralizing their attack.
- Conditions will suit the hosts; this game will likely be at sub-zero temperatures, something the Spaniards aren't used to.
- Going back to late 2017, Dynamo have only lost 4 times at home in European competitions. Three were elite sides (Chelsea, Juve, and Barca), one wasn't (Jablonec of the Czech Rep)
- Sidenote for that Jablonec loss, xG 2.29-1.62 in Dynamo's favour, they controlled the game for the majority and shouldn't have lost.
- Team news is positive too; only Viktor Tsyhankov is a doubt as he's returning to full fitness. If he doesn't start, he'll be an option from the bench (he played 25 mins in the Cup last week)
- Domestically Dynamo are the best team in Ukraine this season both in attack and defence (both in terms of Goals and xG at either end)
- Finally, about 20,000 fans are expected at this match which will mean an increased home-field advantage.
- Villarreal are in a major slump at the moment that some are calling a crisis. Domestically they've not won a single game (excluding Copa del Rey) since the 8th of January (8 games)
- Despite the 4-1 aggregate score over RB Salzburg last time out, you could easily claim that they were 2nd best over those two legs.
- Amazingly, Villarreal are yet to play a team from a Top 5 league in Europe this season. So far, they've met Salzburg, Sivasspor, Tel Aviv, and Qarabag.
- Salzburg who ranks only marginally higher than Dynamo in the latest ECI index, are the best team they've faced in Europe this season
- From their road games this season Villarreal's non-penalty xG has been poor when you consider the opponents they've had. From the 4 games they've only averaged (1.33 non-penalty xG)
- As mentioned above, Villarreal will be travelling into sub-zero temperatures and crossing time zones into Kyiv, which should put them at a big disadvantage.
Final word: Emery will likely be very cautious here again as he was against Salzburg; he'd also happily take a 0-0 back to Spain. This should be a rather dull affair with the hosts avoiding defeat.