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Shakhtar Donetsk - Chelsea Preview: Blues travel to Ukraine for top-of-group clash
Both sides have taken four points from their opening two matches and go into the game knowing a win would put them in the driving seat to make it through to the knockout stages
By Shane Farrington
Srna, Chygrynskiy, Rakitskiy, Rat
Ilsinho, Mkhitaryan, Willian
Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole
Hazard, Oscar, Mata
Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu has a strong squad to pick from. Experienced defensive duo Razvan Rat and Darijo Srna should both start as could Brazilian quartet Ilsinho, Fernandinho, Willian and Luiz Adriano.
Despite scoring in Croatia’s 2-0 World Cup 2014 qualifier against Wales, ex-Arsenal man Eduardo is likely to be on the bench with the prolific Henrikh Mkhitaryan starting up front.
Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo is likely to recall John Terry to his starting the line-up with the ex-England international currently serving a four-game domestic ban. Frank Lampard came off the bench against Tottenham at the weekend and the veteran midfield could get a chance to impress from the off in Ukraine.
Fernando Torres will again be expected to lead the line with support likely to come from attacking midfield trio Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard, although Ramires could take the place of one of the three if Di Matteo looks for a more defensive-minded option.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Shakhtar Donetsk have won their opening 12 games of the season in Ukraine, adding to a run that now stretches to 21 consecutive victories in the Ukranian league.
- The hosts' Donbass Arena stadium, a venue for Euro 2012, opened on 29 August 2009 and has a capacity of 52,000.
- The club’s best-ever finish in the Champions League came last season - when they reached the quarter-finals where they lost 6-1 on aggregate to Barcelona.
- If Chelsea can make it past the group stages this season it will be the 11th consecutive year they have done so.
- Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech (pictured right) had the best saves-to-shots ratio in last season’s competition - an impressive 82.9 per cent.
- Chelsea have scored in each of their last 16 Champions League matches - scoring 32 goals in the process.
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Top 3 Predictions
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-3 Chelsea Fc
- 21.98 %
Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Chelsea Fc
- 13.91 %
Shakhtar Donetsk 0-2 Chelsea Fc
- 11.36 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 7, 2012||Chelsea Fc 3 - Shakhtar Donetsk 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 23, 2012||Shakhtar Donetsk 2 - Chelsea Fc 1|
|Mar 5, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Shakhtar Donetsk 0||UCL|
|Feb 13, 2013||Shakhtar Donetsk 2 - Borussia Dortmund 2||UCL|
|Dec 5, 2012||Shakhtar Donetsk 0 - Juventus 1||UCL|
|Nov 20, 2012||FC Nordsjælland 2 - Shakhtar Donetsk 5||UCL|
|Nov 7, 2012||Chelsea Fc 3 - Shakhtar Donetsk 2||UCL|
|Returns:||Shakhtar $22.50||Sign up today with Ladbrokes and get a $20 welcome bonus!|
|Returns:||Draw $32.50||Sign up today with Ladbrokes and get a $20 welcome bonus!|
|Returns:||Chelsea $32.50||Sign up today with Ladbrokes and get a $20 welcome bonus!|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|