Shakhtar Donetsk-Borussia Dortmund Preview: Both sides looking to continue impressive Champions League campaign
The champions of Ukraine and Germany meet at the Donbass Arena, hoping to pick up where they left off in the group stage
By Enis Koylu
Srna, Chygrynskiy, Rakytskyy, Rat
Teixeira, Mkhitaryan, Douglas Costa
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Blaszczykowski, Gotze, Reus
Borussia Dortmund will be boosted by the return of defenders Marcel Schmelzer and Neven Subotic. The former had missed Germany's friendly with a foot injury, while the latter had been struggling with a hamstring problem.
Ilkay Gundogan is also out after picking up a knock, with Nuri Sahin set to feature again, but Kevin Grosskreutz will miss this game as he battles pneumonia.
Shakhtar, meanwhile, have an empty spot on the right wing following the January departure of Willian. Alex Teixeira is expected to fill in for his compatriot, though Taison could make his debut.
Olexandr Kucher is suspended, leaving either Dmytro Chygrynskiy or Sergey Krivtsov to parter Yaroslav Rakytskyy at the back. Either Tomas Huschmann or Taras Stepanenko will cover the defence alongside Fernandinho.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Shakhtar have not played in a competitive game in over two months, but have won 10 of their 12 mid-season friendlies.
- Taison joined Shakhtar from Metalist Kharkiv in January for €15.2 million, the highest-ever fee for a transfer between two Ukrainian clubs.
- The 1-0 loss against Juventus on matchday 6 of the tournament was the only home game that Mircea Lucescu's side lost in the whole of 2012.
- Borussia Dortmund are one of four unbeaten teams in the Champions League. The others are Malaga, Juventus, and their Ruhr rivals Schalke.
- Robert Lewandowski (pictured, right) has scored in Jurgen Klopp's side's last six matches.
- Saturday's loss to Hamburg at Signal Iduna Park was the heaviest defeat the German champions had endured since losing 5-1 to Bayern Munich in 2009.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 16.89 %
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
- 14.91 %
Shakhtar Donetsk 0-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 9.95 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Mar 5, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Shakhtar Donetsk 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Feb 13, 2013||Shakhtar Donetsk 2 - Borussia Dortmund 2|
|Feb 27, 2014||Shakhtar Donetsk 1 - FC Viktoria Plzeň 2||EL|
|Feb 20, 2014||FC Viktoria Plzeň 1 - Shakhtar Donetsk 1||EL|
|Dec 10, 2013||Man Utd. 1 - Shakhtar Donetsk 0||UCL|
|Nov 27, 2013||Shakhtar Donetsk 4 - Real Sociedad 0||UCL|
|Nov 5, 2013||Shakhtar Donetsk 0 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0||UCL|
He may well not start when BVB visit Donetsk, but is certain to feature at some point. With Willian having departed, a portion of the creative burden will be on his shoulders, and he will want to show that he is a worthy successor.
The Polish striker has been in fine form in recent weeks, and will be particularly eager to make an impact at the Donbass Arena, having been sent off against Hamburg last week. Dortmund will create chances, and he will have to take them.
Both of these teams caught the eye in the group stage with their quick-paced, attacking football, and all the sings point to a thrilling contest. Both have fearsome attacks and a tendency to leave matters at the back neglected, and I'd expect a draw.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed