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UEFA Champions League

  • November 5, 2013
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Donbass Arena, Donets'k
  • Referee: W. Collum
  • • Attendance: 50115
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Champions League Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk - Bayer Leverkusen

Champions League Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk - Bayer Leverkusen

The Ukrainians lost 4-0 to the Werkself a fortnight ago but will be hoping to get their European campaign back on track by beating Sami Hyypia's side on home soil.

Shakhtar Donetsk will be out for revenge when it hosts Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Mircea Lucescu's side was thumped 4-0 in Germany on matchday 3 in Group A. The result left Shakhtar in third place, two points adrift of Leverkusen in second and three behind leader Manchester United.

After winning 2-0 at Real Sociedad in its opening game, Shakhtar drew 1-1 with United at home before the comprehensive defeat to Leverkusen a fortnight ago.

Lucescu's charges have made an indifferent start to the defense of their Ukrainian Premier League title, currently lying second in the table, two points shy of leader Metalist, having dropped 13 points from 15 matches, already two more than all of last season.

They come into the game on the back of a disappointing 2-0 away defeat at Volyn, a result that ended a run of three consecutive victories in the league.

The last time Shakhtar hosted German opponents was in last season's round of 16, with eventual runner-up Borussia Dortmund coming away with a 2-2 draw before sealing its place in the last eight with a 3-0 win in Germany. Overall, Shakhtar has lost just once at home against German clubs, while Leverkusen has won two and lost three of its five trips to Ukraine.

Its most recent visit, in last season's Europa League group stage, ended in a 2-0 defeat to Metalist, a far cry from its visit to the same opponents in the same competition two years earlier, when it returned to Germany with a 4-0 victory.

Sami Hyypia's side has recovered well since a 4-2 defeat at Old Trafford on matchday 1, seeing off Real Sociedad 2-1 at home in the next game before the win over Shakhtar.

If it prevails Tuesday, it will be the first time Leverkusen has won three times in the same Champions League campaign since 2002, although the club heads into the match having lost its last league fixture, going down 1-0 at bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday.

That was just Leverkusen's second league defeat of the season, which sees it in third place after 11 matches, four points behind leader Bayern Munich.

Leverkusen's top scorer Stefan Kiessling is expected to return after being rested from the starting XI on Saturday, while Emir Spahic missed that match with a back injury suffered on the eve of the game. Levin Oztunali returned to training this week after recovering from an ankle problem, while Stefan Reinartz has missed the last three matches with a heel injury.

For Shakhtar, Wellington Nem made his first-team debut in the 4-0 league win over Zorya at the end of October following knee surgery in August, but the Brazilian will not be available Tuesday as he was not included in the club's Champions League squad.

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