Monday, October 14, 2019

Prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City

Verdict: Both teams to Score – Yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: bet365

Premier League champions are heading to Ukraine for their midweek Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donets looking to grab vital three points following a mixed start to their European campaign.

Shakhtar Donetsk

The Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk are welcoming their English guests in red-hot form at the moment. With eight wins from their last 11 matches across all competitions, Shakhtar will be extremely eager to claim their first Champions League triumph this season.

They blew a two-goal lead at Lyon three weeks ago and left themselves hanging in third place in Group F with only two points after two rounds. Back-to-back 2-2 draws offered plenty of entertainment but Shakhtar will want to continue their challenge for the knockout stages of the competition on Tuesday. Going towards the midway stage of the group phase of the competition, Shakhtar Donetsk still have a great chance to get them in the mix for qualification, trailing table-toppers Lyon by two points and only one point behind their next rivals. The Pitman are an experienced side with a decent record when it comes to progressing into the last-16 stage which is exactly what inexperienced Pep Guardiola’s side is afraid of. The champions of Ukraine will also want to stun City yet again and repeat their 2-1 win from last season.

Team News

Shakhtar Donetsk captain Taison picked up a knee injury earlier in October and will be a huge selection doubt for the midweek match.

Fernando is likely to replace the captain in the attacking midfield option, whereas all eyes will be on Junior Moraes who scored 12 goals in 15 matches this season.

Manchester City

The champions of England relished the Champions League season, eager and determined to make it count. The reality hit hard with a 2-1 defeat to Lyon in the opening group match and Pep Guardiola did not hide his disappointment.

The Spaniard is well aware that his team still can’t compare to the giants at the international stage but is doing all he can to lift his team up and throw in a more competitive Champions League challenge. A win at the same scoreline against Hoffenheim saw City’s European campaign kick into gear, with David Silva capping a comeback in Germany. The Citizens improved their game since the Lyon disappointment and Guardiola’s men currently boast a record of 17 goals scored and only one conceded in six matches across all competitions. The current form will count for little to nothing if Guardiola’s charges fail to improve the international record that currently stands at five defeats out of seven matches.

Team News

Kevin De Bruyne is in contention for the first time since August after recovering from a knee injury.

Kyle Walker, Danilo and Ilkay Gundogan remain selection doubts for the Shakhtar match.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Shakhtar Donetsk won 8 of their last 11 matches in all competitions
  • Junior Moraes scored 12 goals in last 15 games for Shakhtar
  • Manchester City scored 17 goals and conceded once in last 6 matches
  • Citizens lost 5 of their last 7 European games
  • Shakhtar are unbeaten in 8 encounters against an English side

Conclusion

Shakhtar Donetsk are an experienced European side and a tough nut to crack which Manchester City have already felt first-hand last season in Ukraine. Guardiola is urging his team to grow and be more mature at the European stage and this particular match will be the first proper challenge in that regard.

Verdict: Both teams to Score – Yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: bet365

 

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