Shakhtar Donetsk host Manchester City in Uefa Champions League Group F on Wednesday night and whilst this a dead rubber for already qualified City, Shakhtar need to avoid defeat to ensure they join them in the knockout rounds
City are already assured of top spot in this group. They have 15 points after 5 straight wins, Shakhtar are second with 9 points, Napoli have 6 and Feyenoord are the also-rans, yet to earn a point.
Shakhtar lost 3-0 at Napoli last time out to set up a nervy finish to the group. A point in that game would have seen them through but with Napoli expected to beat Feyenoord in their final group game, defeat here could well see Shakhtar miss out completely.
Shakhtar’s 2 earlier home games delivered wins over Napoli (2-1) and Feyenoord 3-1 but if they finish level on points with the Serie A side they will slip to third on head to head criteria and contest the Europa League knockout rounds instead.
Shakhtar are involved in another ding dong battle with Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian top flight, they have a 4 point lead at the top of the log right now but Dynamo have a game in hand.
For City its already job done and that could see them conserve resources for this weekend’s derby with United in the Premier League. Earlier away games in this group saw them win 4-2 at Napoli and 4-0 at Feyenoord and they look lively contenders to go very deep this year.
City continue to lead the way in the English Premier League title race, unbeaten with 14 wins and 1 draw. They are currently 8 points better off than United although their last 3 league wins have needed very late goals to secure maximum points.
Head to Head
26/09/17 UCL Man City 2-0 Shakhtar
Man City 9/4
Note, odds quoted are an approximate average and are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change
The City team news will make interesting reading and the match result odds suggest that a second string side is to be expected. There will still be quality in the City line up but given the circumstances I’ll go with Shakhtar to score at least twice.
Bet: Home team goals, over 1.5 at 21/20
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*Note, every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the stats but errors may occur from time to time.