Monday, October 23, 2017

Prediction: Manchester City vs Shakhtar Donetsk

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

High-flying Manchester City will be looking to extend their perfect record at the beginning of the new season as they prepare to play host to equally impressive Ukrainian giants in the Champions League. Shakhtar Donetsk gone unbeaten in last ten matches across all competitions and will be looking to build on a strong start to their European campaign.

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s in-form Manchester City have been going from strength to strength over the past couple of weeks in the new 2017/18 season. The Citizens thrashed the likes of Liverpool, Watford and Crystal Palace in their last three Premier League matches to build on an equally strong European start at Feyenoord.

Only one goal conceded and no less than 16 scored over last five matches in all competitions are proof of strength and squad depth at the Etihad. The fans are hopeful this could be their season and it better as well be the case to make all the investments in the new players worthwhile. Guardiola has completely rejuvenated his side and made it into a well-oiled attacking machine which scores goals for fun. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have been particularly impressive upfront by forming a formidable partnership which has thus far produced 11 Premier League goals. The two players sent a strong statement to all the critics who claimed Aguero and Jesus will rule one another from the team and have now given the former Barcelona manager a lethal edge in the attacking department.

Team News

Unlucky Ilkay Gundogan has picked up yet another injury and although he escaped a serious keen issue the German midfielder will be ruled out of the forthcoming clash.

Captain Vincent Kompany is another name of the injury list with a calf injury.

Shakhtar Donetsk

Over the past decade or so, Shakhtar Donetsk have made a great name for themselves and become a flag bearer for the Ukrainian football in perilous times for this Eastern European country.

Ukrainian Premier League leaders are the most popular football club in the country which has been producing notable results at the European stage for a while now. Having participated in the quarter-final of the 1983/84 edition of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, Shakhtar returned to the brightest stage in 2008/09 when they emerged as winners of the Europa League after defeating Werder Bremen 2-1 in an Istanbul final. The Miners reached a semi-final of the same competition in 2015/16 and will now look to make an impression at the biggest stage of them all. Their Champions League campaign went off to a great start thanks to a vital 2-1 win over Napoli earlier this month. Taison and Ferreyra made sure Shakhtar go two goals up against the in-fort Italian side, which only managed to score a consolation goal through Milik. Shakhtar Donets and Manchester City will be battling for the top two places in Group F and the forthcoming clash at the Etihad can provide plenty of answers and, possibly, complicate the situation.

Team News

Malyshev and Kryvtsov are both suffering from a knee injury and will be unavailable for trip to England.

Captain Darijo Srna failed a drug test and will be ruled out of the forthcoming Champions League clash.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City conceded only 3 goals this season
  • Citizens scored 16 goals over 4 last matches in all competitions
  • Guardiola’s men won their last six matches
  • Shakhtar Donets are unbeaten since July
  • Ukrainian side haven’t lost on the road in last 21 matches

Conclusion

Manchester City might be in a fantastic form this season but the last thing they should do is to take Shakhtar Donetsk lightly. Pep Guardiola will have prepared his side well for the Ukrainian giants who boast a well-organized attacking unit and a side that play together for a while and have significant European experience.

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

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