Shakhtar Donetsk Vs. Manchester City
UEFA Champions League, Group F
Date: 6th December 2017
Time: 7:45 pm GMT
Venue: OSC Metalist (Kharkiv)
Shakhtar Donetsk will welcome English Premier League leaders, Manchester City at OSC Metalist stadium this Wednesday in their final Champion’s League group game.
Match Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk Vs. Manchester City
Shakhtar host Manchester City this Wednesday in a Champions League group game knowing that a point will secure their position at the knockout stages. While Manchester City will travel to Ukraine for nothing but a formality.
Outpointing the like of Napoli, Shakhtar currently sit in the second position in Group F with a three-point lead over their third-placed competitors. A point on Wednesday means Shakhtar take the lead over Napoli by more than three points and even a win against Feyenoord who has a big zero so far won’t be enough for the Italian team to pip Shakhtar. But a loss here will complicate things for Paulo Fonseca’s side. If Napoli win in Netherland, then the Italian team will leapfrog Shakhtar on a head-to-head superiority.
Shakhtar get to this match with three wins on the bounce, their last outing on the Champions League suffered a 0-3 batter from Napoli in Naples. Paulo Fonseca’s men are enjoying a good run in both Ukraine and in Europe, they are leading the Ukranian Premier League, and they find themselves as a favourite to advance to the knockout stages as a runner-up in the group. But Paulo Fonseca is aware of how a defeat can plummet their chances and will be playing for a draw rather than winning the game.
To the away team here, Manchester City are looking like the team to beat in both Europe and England this season. They lead Group F with maximum points from five matches, and the top spot is secure for them regardless of the result in Ukraine. Unbeaten in all competitions, Pep Guardiola’s side are firmly in the driving seat of Engish Premier League, they are eight points clear at the top of the table, and a top of the table clash is there to see this Weekend between the teams of Manchester.
A hard fought win over West Ham on the weekend means Manchester City have won all of their last eight games, but things are not going fluently for them like that the start of the season. The Citizens are leaking goals and are finding hard to break opponent’s deep defense. It seems like the EPL teams have learned to defend Pep’s tactics or at least they have prevented a thrashing from City lately. And if Shakhtar have learned a thing or two, they will opt for a defensive play to get their all needed single point.
Possible starting lineup: Shakhtar Donetsk Vs. Manchester City
Taison, Maksym Malyshev, and Bhodan Butko are still sidelined due to injury, and Paulo Fonseca remains a doubt for Shakhtar. A 4-2-3-1 formation is expected from Shakhtar to field against Manchester City at home.
Shakhtar’s possible starting lineup against Manchester City
Defenders: Ismaily(L), Rakitskiy(M), Ordec(M), Azevedo(R)
Midfielders: Stepanenko(DM), Fred(DM), Bernard(L), Kovalenko(M), Marlos(R)
Forward: Facundo Ferreyra
City have both Benjamin Mendy and John Stones injured for a long while Kevin De Bruyne serves his Champions League Suspension. With Manchester derby next, Pep will give his star players much needed rest in a match where there is nothing to gain for them.
Manchester City’s possible starting lineup against Shakhtar
Defenders: Walker(R), Otamendi(M), Mangala(M), Danilo(L)
Midfielders: Foden(R), Toure(M), Guendogan(L)
Forwards: B. Silva(R), Aguero(M), Sterling(L)
Prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk Vs. Manchester City
Surely, Pep will have one eye on upcoming Manchester derby and can go lightly this Wednesday. So, our prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester City.