Dynamo’s Covid absences don’t make it easier for Barcelona, Koeman says

Barcelona, Spain, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- Barcelona’s head coach Ronald Koeman on Tuesday said the coronavirus outbreak that has sidelined up to nine Dynamo Kyiv players would not necessarily make tomorrow’s Champions League match easier for the Catalan giants.

The Dutch coach pointed to Shakhtar Donetsk, who beat Real Madrid 2-3 despite lacking several first team players due to Covid-19.

“The topic of Covid has a lot of influence on our daily lives and work nowadays and it is a situation we need to live with. It will surely affect the quality of Dynamo. I don’t know if it will lower it, but we expect a complicated rival and we’ll have to be up to the job to win,” he said in a pre-match press conference.

“I don’t expect (the quality of) Dynamo to decrease too much,” he said before Wednesday’s game at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona have so far enjoyed two wins in the Champions League, beating Hungarian team Ferencvaros 5-1 and Juventus 2-0. It’s a different picture compared to their domestic campaign in LaLiga, where they have not won since the beginning of October.

“Only taking two points in the last four games is not good,” Koeman said Tuesday. “It’s normal that we would face some criticism.”

In their last four games, Barcelona have drawn with Alavés, lost to Real Madrid, lost to Getafe and drawn with Sevilla.

“(Criticism) is always going to be leveled at the coach. I accept it, I take responsibility and I keep working to improve things. At the end of the day, what counts is winning games.”

Koeman said he was satisfied with the “behavior” and the “image” the Barcelona team has at the moment.

In Dynamo, Koeman finds a rival that conjures a lot of memories. He was part of Johan Cruyff’s so-called dream team, which dismantled the Ukrainians 4-1 at the Camp Nou in the 1993-4 Champions League.

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