Champions League Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk - Chelsea
Both sides have taken four points from their opening two matches and go into the game knowing a win would put them in good position 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, former 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 lineup with the former 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 has won its opening 12 games of the season in Ukraine, adding to a run that now stretches to 21 consecutive victories in the Ukranian league.
- The home side's Donbass Arena stadium, a venue for Euro 2012, opened on Aug. 29, 2009 and has a capacity of 52,000.
- The club’s best-ever finish in the Champions League came last season - when it reached the quarterfinals and 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 the club has done so.
- Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech (pictured right) had the best saves-to-shots ratio in last season’s competition - an impressive 82.9 percent.
- Chelsea has scored in each of its last 16 Champions League matches - scoring 32 goals in the process.
Top 3 Predictions
Shakhtar 1-3 Chelsea
- 21.98 %
Shakhtar 0-3 Chelsea
- 13.91 %
Shakhtar 0-2 Chelsea
- 11.36 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 7, 2012||Chelsea 3 - Shakhtar 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 23, 2012||Shakhtar 2 - Chelsea 1|
|Mar 5, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Shakhtar 0||UCL|
|Feb 13, 2013||Shakhtar 2 - Borussia Dortmund 2||UCL|
|Dec 5, 2012||Shakhtar 0 - Juventus 1||UCL|
|Nov 20, 2012||FC Nordsjælland 2 - Shakhtar 5||UCL|
|Nov 7, 2012||Chelsea 3 - Shakhtar 2||UCL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|