Shakhtar vs Manchester City – Tuesday, October 23, 20:00BST/21:00CEST –OSK Metalist, Kharkiv, Ukraine
The Ukrainian champions have drawn their first two games and are third in the section, one place and one point behind City, who got off the mark with a late winner last time out.
The Ukrainian club’s first two games both finished 2-2, Shakhtar twice coming from behind to draw with Hoffenheim on matchday one – the latter’s UEFA Champions League debut – before letting slip a two-goal lead at Lyon last time out.
Sizable -230 away favourites, on paper Manchester City, should, therefore, not have much trouble taking the full three from Shakhtar Donetsk in their next UCL match so if you bet online, check these guys out as they have trustable reviews on what the different betting sites have to offer for you. City have won four straight across all competitions by a combined score of 12-1, quickly erasing the memory of the 2-1 upset loss at the hands of Lyon in their Champions League opener.
Shakhtar are certainly not the same team that advanced to the knockout stage last year, largely due to the departure of Brazilian national Fred. They needed an 81st-minute equalizer to pull out a 2-2 home draw against Hoffenheim in their last UCL game, getting outshot 19-13 by a team that sits 13th in the Bundesliga.
Shakhtar head coach Paulo Fonseca, however, has been able to re-invest much of the funds that the club earned from Fred’s sale to Manchester United. The club signed Brazilians Maycon (Corinthians), Fernando (Palmeiras), Marquinhos Cipriano (FC São Paulo) and Júnior Moraes (Dynamo Kyiv).
Maycon, Fernando and Marquinhos Cipriano are now considered the new generation of Brazilians that would like to use the Ukrainian Premier League and the Champions League as a jumping off spot to a bigger club in Western Europe. Fonseca is now charged in developing these players and slowly integrating them into the starting eleven.
That integration may have to be quicker than expected, however. Although the club is dominating the UPL Shakhtar lost key forward Taison on matchday 11. Without their star winger, Shakhtar beat Desna Chernihiv on Friday to keep their stranglehold over the league.
It will be a different story against City, however. The Sky Blues are top of the table in England – even on points with Chelsea and Liverpool. Under pressure after a slow start against Olympique Lyon and a last-minute win against Hoffenheim Pep Guardiola’s team need a statement game in the Champions League. That statement game is very much going to be on the line on Tuesday when they face Shakhtar on Tuesday.
Shakhtar vs Manchester City – Players to look out for:
Marlos #11 – Shakhtar Donetsk
With Taison out the pressure will be on Marlos to produce. The Brazilian-born Ukrainian national team winger has scored six goals and one assist in the first 11 Ukrainian Premier League games. The 30-year-old has very much grown into a leader at a side that is currently undergoing a bit of a rebuild.
Sergio Agüero #10 – Manchester City
It was a difficult relationship between head coach Pep Guardiola and Sergio Agüero during the first season. But at some point last year the two clicked as the Argentine striker started to buy into Guardiola’s system. As a result, Agüero is now an invaluable piece in the City squad as the striker leads the team in scoring with five goals in the first eight games.
Shakhtar vs Manchester City – Match Stats
- The teams were paired together for the first time in the 2017/18 group stage when home sides held the upper hand.
- City were 2-0 winners in Manchester on matchday two, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling scoring at the start and end of the second half to secure the points.
- The Donetsk club have lost only one of their last 15 home matches in Europe (W11 D3). They have not kept a clean sheet, however, in any of the last six.
- The Ukrainian side have got out of their group in three of their last five participations.
- Shakhtar are unbeaten at home to English visitors (W5 D2); the Pitmen’s record against Premier League clubs, home and away, is W5 D3 L6.
- City have won two of their last four European away games, losing the other two.
- City have won only two of their last seven European matches, home and away – losing the other five.
- City’s record in Ukraine is W1 L2, the victory a 3-1 success at Dynamo Kyiv in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League round of 16.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Shakhtar vs Manchester City – 1-2
Shakhtar vs Manchester City – Lineups
Pyatov – Ismaily, Rakitskyi, Khocholava, Butko – Stepanenko, Maycon – Bolbat, Kovalenko, Marlos – Júnior Moraes
Head Coach: Paulo Fonseca
Ederson – Mendy, Laporte, Kompany, Stones – Fernandinho – Sané, Silva, de Bruyne, Mahrez – Agüero
Head Coach: Pep Guardiola
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.