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UEFA Champions League Group A preview: Kiev bid to stay alive

Dynamo Kiev will be fighting for their Champions League survival when they face Paris Saint-Germain in Group A action on Wednesday.

The equation is quite simple for Kiev – win and their hopes of progressing to the round of 16 remain intact.

But only victory will do for the Ukrainian outfit, as a draw or a loss for them on Wednesday would ensure the group’s top two, FC Porto and PSG, make it through to the knockout phase of the world’s most prestigious club competition.

And while the French heavyweights find themselves in the top three of the Ligue 1 table, they have experienced a recent patch of uninspiring form which has seen them win just one match out of their past four engagements in all competitions.

That fact will surely give Kiev some sort of confidence boost for what appears to be a daunting task on the face of it.

The match will also be held at Dynamo’s home, the Olympic National Sports Complex, where they held Porto to a 0-0 draw on November 6 and recorded their only win of the group stage so far against Dinamo Zagreb (2-0) on October 3.

But PSG are second in the group for a reason, despite their recent struggles.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men have been one of Group A’s form teams with three wins from four matches and will take comfort from the fact that they kicked off their Champions League campaign with a thumping 4-1 win over Kiev back on September 18.

In the group’s other match, leaders Porto simply have to grab a point from their home meeting with cellar-dweller Zagreb to ensure their passage to the round of 16.

The Portuguese side have not suffered defeat so far this campaign with three wins and a draw from their four matches – their only blemish a scoreless stalemate with Kiev.

Conversely, the end cannot come quick enough for Zagreb, who have already had their dreams of featuring in the next round dashed with four losses from as many outings.

The Croatian team have leaked 10 goals in those four matches and considering Porto have not tasted defeat yet across 13 matches in the Liga Sagres and Champions League so far in 2012/13, this top-versus-bottom encounter appears destined for only one outcome.

Tue 20 Nov, 2012
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