Chelsea - Shakhtar Preview: Blues aim to continue 17-month unbeaten European home run
The west London side were easily beaten by the Ukrainians on the third matchday and Mircea Lucescu's dark horses have failed to win just one game so far this season
By Matt Scott
Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole
Oscar, Mata, Hazard
Srna, Chygrynskiy, Rakitskiy, Rat
Willian, Mkhitaryan, Teixeira
Roberto Di Matteo could be boosted by the returns of David Luiz (ankle) and Juan Mata (hamstring) after the pair were forced to sit out the weekend draw against Swansea City.
Frank Lampard's absence through a calf injury is set to go on, the midfielder having picked up the problem in the tie between these two sides at the Donbass Arena on Matchday 3.
John Terry is available for the game but Di Matteo has admitted that he may not play the skipper, who has just completed his four-game domestic ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.
The Ukrainian side have a full-strength squad to choose from with no injury concerns, so Dmytro Chygrynskiy may come into the side after missing the first game between the two teams.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea have not lost a home tie in the Champions League since a 1-0 semi-final first-leg defeat to Manchester United on April 6 2011
- If selected, Branislav Ivanovic will be making the 300th appearance of his career.
- The Blues have been in fine form at home this term, with just Juventus and Manchester United avoiding defeat at Stamford Bridge.
- Shakhtar have maintained their 100 per cent winning record in the Ukrainian league this season - Juventus are the only side to have avoided defeat against them so far.
- Henrik Mkhitaryan (pictured right) is the top goalscorer in Europe's major leagues with 14 goals in 13 games so far this season. Mkhitaryan is 9/4 with Bet365 to score anytime in this match.
- If Chelsea manage to score, it will be the 100th goal that Shakhtar have conceded in Europe under Mircea Lucescu.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
- 20.35 %
Chelsea FC 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
- 20.15 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
- 13.05 %
|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 1, 2014||Fulham 1 - Chelsea FC 3||EPL|
|Feb 26, 2014||Galatasaray 1 - Chelsea FC 1||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Chelsea FC 1 - Everton 0||EPL|
|Feb 15, 2014||Manchester City FC 2 - Chelsea FC 0||FA|
|Feb 11, 2014||West Bromwich Albion 1 - Chelsea FC 1||EPL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
The Serbian will have a tough job on his hands to keep the likes of Willian and Alex Teixeira quiet, but his attacking talents will also be crucial to providing a width to the Blues' attack that can often be missing with the Hazard-Mata-Oscar trident all looking infield with their contributions.
One of Shakhtar's plentiful Brazilians is generally the most withdrawn of the South Americans on the pitch, but his playmaking from deep is often crucial to starting attacks for his side. He proved in the first match between the sides that he is capable of breaking forward and netting and will hope to get on the scoresheet again here.
The Blues stuttered to a draw against Swansea at the weekend and were comprehensively beaten by Shakhtar in the meeting between the sides two weeks ago. Mircea Lucescu's side are on a fine run of form and Chelsea's home record in Europe could be under threat, despite the visitors notorious poor form on the road in continental competition.