Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Marseille

Verdict: Shakhtar Donetsk DNB

Best odds: 2.17

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Shakhtar Donetsk will host Marseille in the 1st leg of the Europa League knockout stage. The game will be played in Hamburg at Volksparkstadion, where the hosts held their current season European games.

Shakhtar Donetsk

The hosts impressed this season of the Uefa Champions League finishing 3rd in a group with Barcelona, Porto and Antwerp. The decisive match in Portugal against Porto was a true show displayed by both sides. Porto managed to win 5-3, finishing 2nd in group H and dropping the Ukrainians in the Europa League. However, despite this disappointing defeat, Shakhtar won twice against Antwerp and created a major upset by defeating the giants of Spanish football, Barcelona.

Domestically, the Miners are engaged in a difficult title race trailing league leaders Kryvbas with 3 points. Despite this unexpected league position, Shakhtar lost only 2 games played in the Premier Liga. Vorskla Poltava and Dnipro were the sides who surprisingly defeated  Marino Pusic’s team on Shakhtar’s turf.

The Donetsk team played only friendly matches since 13 December. This lack of competitive games can prove to be a decisive factor when the Miners host OM who is in full throttle in Ligue 1. However, a head-to-head advantage over Gatusso’s team can boost the Ukrainians’ confidence who won both previous matches played back in 2009.

Team News

Shakhtar Donetsk will be without a few key players who are sidelined due to injuries. Marino Pusic will not be able to count on 4 players. Ivan Petryak is still working hard to recover from his ankle injury. Lassina Traore suffered a tendon tear at the beginning of the season and is expected to return at the end of February.

Marlon Gomes suffered a calf injury at the beginning of February in one of the friendly games played. Goalkeeper Tymur Puzankov also joined him in the recovery room due to a cruciate ligament tear.

Marseille

Marseille finished 2nd in a Europa League group with Brighton, Ajax and AEK Athens. Although this was considered to be one of the most difficult groups, OM managed to secure a 2nd place qualifying therefore in the knockout stages. Brighton was the only team who managed to defeat Gatusso’s side (1-0) at American Express Stadium following a tight game played in mid-December.

The Olympians lost their last end-of-year momentum winning only a Cup game against lower league side US Thionville. Despite this success, OM was knocked out in the following round by Rennes after a dramatic penalty shootout. Marseille is struggling to find its Ligue 1 rhythm, failing to win in the last 5 rounds. A defeat away at rivals Lyon followed by a stalemate at home against Metz are the worst results before the difficult trip to Germany.

Gennaro Gatusso needs to address the poor away displays by his side who managed to win only 3 games this season in all competitions. These are disappointing results from a side that is aiming at a top 4 finish in Ligue 1 with hopes of playing Champions League football next season.

Team News

Gatusso will have all his important players available to face Shakhtar Donetsk. However, Valentin Roniger, the talented centre midfielder, is out with a broken knee cap. Bilal Nadir suffered a terrible cruciate ligament tear in the game played against Rennes that will see him out for the rest of the season.

Centreback Chancel Mbemba is at risk of being suspended if he gets booked. Gatusso will also be happy to have some players return to the squad following the ending of the AFCON tournament.

Key factors to consider

  • Shakhtar Donetsk defeated Barcelona in the Champions League and scored 3 goals on Estadio do Dragao against Porto
  • The Miners are looking to regain their domestic champions crown at the end of the season
  • Marino Pusic’s team played the last competitive match in mid-December
  • Marseille lost a single game in the Europa League group stage
  • The visitors won only one of their last 6 competitive matches
  • Genarro Gatusso’s side never won against Shakhtar Donetsk (L2)

Conclusion

Marseille will have a difficult trip to Hamburg considering the latest displays. Although Shakhtar hadn’t played a competitive match since mid-December, the hosts had a lot of time to prepare details for the match against OM. Gatusso’s side form is dipping winning only 1 of their last 6 matches. On the other hand, Marino Pusic’s team was up to the task against top sides like Barcelona and Porto.

Verdict: Shakhtar Donetsk DNB

Best odds: 2.17

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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