Friday, May 25, 2018

UCL Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk v. Manchester United

Manchester United will travel to Ukraine to take on Shakhtar Donetsk at the Donbass Arena on Wednesday night.

English Premier League strugglers Manchester United will travel to Ukraine to take on Shakhtar Donetsk at the Donbass Arena on Wednesday night as the Reds look to bounce back from their humiliating 2-1 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

United, losers of three of their last four league matches, plan to field a strong team against the Ukrainian giants in midweek, according to manager David Moyes.

“I think we need to go there with a strong team. Going to Ukraine is tough because Donetsk have had a good record,” Moyes told reporters on Friday.

“I know they’ve sold one or two players but they have five or six Brazilians; they are not all Ukraine-based players but from all over the place.

“Bayer Leverkusen was fantastic and I’m really looking forward to Wednesday and seeing what it’s like getting to be involved in these competitions.

“I think the history here is to be known throughout Europe; Manchester United and their history shows you that has been the case.”

The English champions opened their 2013/14 UEFA Champions League account with an impressive 4-2 win over Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford, while Shakhtar overcame a poor first-half display to defeat Real Sociedad at the Anoeta.

Former Brazil Under-2o international midfielder Alex Teixeira and England striker Wayne Rooney each scored two goals for Shakhtar and United, respectively, on Matchday 1.

Teixeira is 15/2 to open the scoring at the Donbass Arena on Wednesday, whereas Rooney is 5/4 to score anytime for the visitors.

The two sides head into Wednesday’s clash in first and second place in Group A.

At the moment, United are heavy favourites to win the group at 4/9 odds, with the bookmakers backing Shakhtar at 3/1.

However, a loss in Donetsk could sway the odds in favour of the Ukrainian moneybags, who have become rather infamous due to a massive influx of talented Brazilians in recent years.

The Hirnyky added highly-rated Brazil international winger Bernard to their squad, which includes the likes of Douglas Costa, Fernando Lucas Martins, Frederico Rodrigues Santos, Luiz Adriano and Taison, for a reported fee of  €25 million this summer.

Bernard, the subject of reported interest from Arsenal and F.C. Porto during the summer transfer window, has made five appearances — including two starts — in all competitions for Shakhtar in 2013/14.

The 21-year-old attacker is 10/3 to score his first goal for Shakhtar against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Betting Odds

Shakhtar Donetsk (6/4); Manchester United (15/8); Draw (12/5)

Match Prediction

Shakhtar Donetsk 1 – Manchester United 2 (10/1)


Shawn Etemadi



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