Mark Temnycky –
Dinamo Zagreb vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – 20:00 GMT/21:00 CET – Stadium Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia
Matchday 4 in Group C of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League will likely determine who will finish second in this group. It seems Manchester City will finish at the top of Group C, and with Atalanta winless in their first three matches, it is likely either Dinamo Zagreb or Shakhtar Donetsk will finish second. Both Slavic teams are currently level on points with one victory, once draw and one loss.
Dinamo Zagreb currently lead the head to head between these two sides, where they defeated Atalanta 4-0 to Shakhtar’s 2-1, meaning a draw or victory on Matchday 4 should see the Croatians come one step closer to the Champions League knockout stages. A loss, however, would make things more interesting. While Shakhtar would go ahead on points, the Ukrainians did not earn a convincing victory against Atalanta, meaning anything could happen in the last two matchdays of the group stage.
The Croatians will have reason to believe they can win this match, given their recent results in Croatian First Football League. Dinamo are currently at the top of their domestic league, and have kept a series of clean sheets in some of their recent matches, meaning they have a composed defense. This will be vital as they look to contain Shakhtar on Wednesday.
Finally, Dinamo are not without goal scoring talent, as their offensive talent has delivered. The Croatians have scored 41 goals in 18 matches across all competitions this season, and have only conceded 10 goals throughout this period. Overall, they have been impressive this term, and they will surely trouble Shakhtar on Matchday 4.
Meanwhile, given their inferior goal differential, Shakhtar Donetsk know they will have to earn a victory in order to challenge for the second spot in Group C. Should they fail to achieve this goal, it is likely they will be dumped into the 2019/20 Europa League.
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Like Dinamo, Shakthar have also dominated their opponents in their domestic competitions. A recent 2-1 loss against rivals Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian Cup, however, has seen them eliminated from the competition. The Ukrainians will hope this loss will only serve as a minor blip in their season, and they will look to bounce back from this result as they prepare for their Champions League fixture on Wednesday.
Overall, Shakhtar face a difficult opponent in Group C on Matchday 4. A victory would see the Ukrainians take the lead against their rivals, and a draw would not necessarily rule them out of knockout contention, but a loss would certainly see them miss out. If they hope to advance to the competition’s knockout stages, Shakhtar will have to be defensively sound.
Dinamo Zagreb vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Players to Watch:
Daniel Olmo #7 – Dinamo Zagreb
As Dinamo Zagreb look to advance to the knockout stages of the 2019/20 Champions League, the Croatian team will need to win against rivals Shakhtar Donetsk. During this fixture, the Croatians will turn to Daniel Olmo to help them achieve this task. The Spanish winger is quick with his feet and he will surely torment the Ukrainian defense.
Júnior Moraes #10 – Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar Donetsk know they have to defeat Dinamo Zagreb to advance to the Champions League knockout stages. The Ukrainians will rely on Júnior Moraes, where the forward has a knack for goals. He was the top scorer of the 2018/19 Ukrainian Premier Liha, and as the current top scorer in 2019/20, he will look to transfer this success to the Champions League.
Dinamo Zagreb vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Match Statistics:
- Their previous encounter in Group C ended in a 2-2 draw.
- Dinamo Zagreb’s Lovro Majer and Sandro Kulenović are injured.
- Shakhtar Donetsk are without the injured Fernando.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Dinamo Zagreb vs Shakhtar Donetsk – 3-3
Dinamo Zagreb vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Possible Lineups:
Livaković – Théophile-Catherine, Dilaver, Perić – Stojanović, Moro, Ademi, Leovac – Olmo, Petković, Oršić
Manager: Nenad Bjelica
Pyatov – Bolbat, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko, Ismaily – Patrick, Stepanenko – Marlos, Taison, Konoplyanka – Moraes
Manager: Luís Castro
Mark Temnycky is an AIPS accredited journalist who covers the Ukrainian men’s national team and Ukrainian clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for the Futbolgrad Network. Follow him @MTemnycky