Barcelona will head to Tuesday’s meeting with Dynamo Kiev in the knowledge that anything less than a victory could be fatal to their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Now under Sergi Barjuan’s watchful eye, Barcelona ends up in third place in Group E, six points behind Bayern Munich’s leader and one behind Benfica.
They secured a 1-0 victory over these opponents when they met a few weeks ago, but Barcelona have been anything but convincing this season, plummeting to a 1-1 draw with Alaves in their first match after the Ronald Koeman era, so a new manager dismissal does not seem to come any time soon.
Here is everything you need to know about this.
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When is kick off? Tuesday 2 November, 20:00 (GMT)Where is the match played? NSC OlimpiyskiyTV channel / livestream? BT Sport 3 (UK), Paramount + (USA)Highlights? BT Sport YouTube channelJudge? Ovidiu Alin HateganWHERE? Marco Di Bello
Mykolenko will miss the return / Soccrates Images / GettyImages
Barcelona may have had their struggles with injuries, but Dynamo are enduring their own crisis. In the attack, Artem Besedin, Vladyslav Kulach, Ibrahim Kargbo and Vladyslav Supryaga are all out injured, so manager Mircea Lucescu has a bit to juggle when it comes to finding a starting striker.
Elsewhere, center-back Denis Popov and left-back Vitaly Mykolenko will both miss due to injury.
Aguero has a heart disease / Quality Sport Images / GettyImages
Barjuan will be without striker Sergio Aguero, who will miss three months of action due to his heart problem.
This is the latest in a long line of questions for Barcelona. Martin Braithwaite (knee), Ronald Araujo (hoarding), Pedri (hoarding), Sergi Roberto (muscle) and Gerard Pique (what) have all been left out of the squad, but some players have gone back in time.
Ronald Araujo, Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati have all been named in the squad, but whether anyone will be ready to start this match remains to be seen.
Dynamo: Bushchan; Kedziora, Zabarnyi, Syrota, Karavaev; Shaparenko, Sydorchuk; De Pena, Buyalskyi, Tsygankov; Ramirez
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dest, Garcia, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Gavi, Puig; Demir, Depay, Coutinho
The two met in mid-October, where Barcelona came out with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Koeman’s favorite striker, Gerard Pique.
That victory was Barcelona’s fifth on the bounce against Dynamo – a series of victories that stretches back to the end of 2009.
Dynamo’s latest victory in this match came at the end of 1997, when they rocked up to Camp Nou and put four unanswered goals past a team that presented the current interim manager Barjuan, who only happened to be sent off for two yellow cards in that match.
Barcelona should have enough of them here / Alex Caparros / GettyImages
As we saw against Alaves, Koeman’s departure has not exactly fixed Barcelona, who are still as meh as they were before the Dutchman left.
Are they better than Dynamo? Yes absolutely. Unfortunately, it means absolutely nothing with this Barcelona site, which can easily thump Dynamo or get thumped yourself.
The returns of De Jong, Araujo, Dembele and Fati should make Barcelona something fun again, and if these players are as healthy as suggested, they should be able to steer Blaugrana to victory.
Prediction: Dynamo Kiev 0-1 Barcelona
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