The 'nearly men' of the 2001-02 Bayer Leverkusen team are only remembered for losing the Bundesliga on the last game of the season, alongside the German Cup and Champions League Final all in the space of two weeks. Although not to this scale, Fiorentina's comprehensive back to back defeats to Juventus in the Coppa Italia and Napoli in Serie A last week have left the Europa League as the only feasible chance of ending this season with something tangible and they will have to take care not to end the season with nothing to show for their heroics throughout March. Vincenzo Montella has attributed his team's complete capitulation in the previous two games to a mental, rather than physical problem with his squad and will have to work with his players to help them move on from the manner in which they lost the previous two games.
Dynamo Kyiv have been in superb form this season under the stewardship of Sergei Rebrov. They have already won the Ukrainian Cup, are 5 points clear at the top of the league table and knocked out Everton in the last 16 of the Europa League, 6-4 on aggregate. Kyiv and Fiorentina are an immovable object versus an unstoppable force with the Ukranian side as strong at home in Europe as La Viola are away, winning all five home rounds this season by two goals or more to the Viola's eleven game unbeaten European away run. The danger is likely to come from Kyiv's strength on the counter and from set pieces with Andriy Yarmolenko looking to add to his four goal Europa League tally. Portuguese international Miguel Veloso, who scored against Everton in the previous round is an injury doubt and midfielder Yevhen Makarenko is certain to miss out through injury.
Montella will be without the suspended Jose Maria Basanta but will seek to put out his strongest possible side, central playmaker David Pizarro returns from injury and will bring back the rested duo of Mario Gomez and Joaquin to complete the attacking trio with Mohammed Salah.
With 3rd place now almost certainly out of reach, Fiorentina can launch an all out Europa League attack to give the club and fans something to show for what has been, on the whole, a fantastic season. The stakes couldn't be higher...Forza Viola!
Dynamo Kyiv: (4-5-1) Shovkovskiy; Danilo Silva, Khacheridi, Dragović, Vida; Rybalka, Belhanda, Garmash, Yarmolenko, Lens; Mbokani.
FIORENTINA; (4-3-3) NETO; ALONSO, SAVIC, GONZALO, TOMOVIC; BADELJ, PIZARRO, MATI; SALAH, GOMEZ, JOAQUIN