Shakhtar Donetsk vs Feyenoord – Wednesday, November 1, 19:45 GMT/20:45 CET – OSK Metalist Stadion, Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Shakhtar Donetsk, a stalwart of Eastern European football, is finding themselves in a positive position in Group F. Placed in a difficult group with Manchester City, Napoli and Feyenoord, Shakhtar have held their own. Currently sitting in second, the Ukrainian club is there with a point to prove.
Beating Napoli and Feyenoord and losing to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk are not to be messed with. Currently sitting top of the Ukrainian Premier League with 14 wins, three draws and one loss, the team from the East is in high form. Undefeated since July 22, Paulo Fonseca is in search of securing Shakhtar’s eleventh title. Since taking over from the legendary Mircea Lucescu in 2016, Paulo Fonseca has led Shakhtar Donetsk to a total of 46 wins in 58 games. In comparison, Fonseca led Braga to 29 wins in 57 games. With a win percentage of 79.31 at Shakhtar, it appears that the Portuguese manager has found his calling.
Playing the 4-2-3-1 formation, Fonseca has especially been able to get the best out of his South America attacking contingent. Facundo Ferreyra, Marlos, Bernard and Taison have been in full swing in the league. Combining for a total of 18 goals and seven assists, the South American’s are in hot form. The style of play implemented by Fonseca allows creativity and opportunities to be created, while limit space and opportunities for the opposing team. Shakhtar will make sure to make the most of their situation.
With strength in attack comes strength in defence. Shakhtar’s defence is known for its ability to thwart attacks and play from the back. The absence of Yaroslav Rakitskiy is big for Shakhtar. A vital component of the defence, the Ukrainian side will be facing Feyenoord without one of their most important players. Fonseca will be hoping that Rakitskiy’s absence will not lead to defensive problems.
Feyenoord have had a disappointing start to the season. The Eredivisie champions have not won a game in the league since October 1. Despite their disappointing form, Feyenoord started the Eredivisie season with a four-game win streak, featuring a thrashing of Willem II. There is hope for Feyenoord that they can rekindle their form. A bright spark in their season has been Steven Berghuis. The Dutchman leads Feyenoord’s goalscorers with seven goals scored in 10 games. Head coach Giovani van Bronckhorst will be hoping that Berghuis can lead Feyenoord to glory.
Sitting at the bottom of Group F, the Dutch side face an uphill challenge in the Champions League. Facing Shakhtar Donetsk previously, Feyenoord failed to make the most of their chance against the Ukrainian team. Scoring in the 7th minute, Feyenoord was unable to respond further against Shakhtar who ended coming away with three points. Scoring one of their goals in the Champions League, that goal being against Shakhtar, Berghuis has the prospect of upsetting the home side. This time around, Feyenoord will be hoping they can supply their primary goalscorer, accurate passing and exploiting space will be on the menu for the Dutch side.
Winning the Champions League at Barcelona during his playing career, van Bronckhorst knows exactly what it takes to win on the big stage. Lining up in 4-3-3, Feyenoord will be looking to use their wingers to getting in behind Shakhtar’s defence, especially with the absence of Rakitskiy and Darijo Srna. The loss of Rakitskiy and Srna is of enormous benefit to Feyenoord. Two of Shakhtar’s essential components, the Dutch have an opportunity register their first win in Group F. Feyenoord will have to make sure they can supply Berghuis when going forward. If not, they may result in becoming stale upfront and lacking the ability to create attacking opportunities. If they can create space with runs and accurate passing, Feyenoord are within a chance of three points. However, Shakhtar Donetsk won’t be an easy task to break down.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Feyenoord – Player to look for:
Facundo Ferreyra #19 – Shakhtar Donetsk
Currently, on hot form in the Ukrainian Premier League, Facundo Ferreyra cannot stop scoring. The leading top scorer after 14 games played, Ferreyra is leading Shakhtar forward with nine goals and two assists. Leading the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Ferreyra benefits from a supporting cast of Marlos, Taison and Bernard. The South American attack has proved a difficult task to deal with in the Ukrainian Premier League. Feyenoord experienced the South American attack in their previous Champions League clash against Shakhtar. Feyenoord’s defence will have to be on high alert when facing Ferreyra.
Steven Berghuis #19 – Feyenoord
Steven Berghuis has been the bright spark in Feyenoord’s disappointing start to the Eredivisie. Winning the league in the previous season, expectations remain high for the Dutch side. Starting the season with a four-game win streak, it looked like Feyenoord were continuing from where they left off. Scoring the winning goal in the first game of the season, Berghuis has continued on an upward trajectory. Scoring seven goals in 10 games, it seems like there’s not stopping the Dutchman. With the suspension of Rakitskiy and Srna, Berghuis will look to take advantage of the situation. Feyenoord’s primary attacking threat will be a one to watch against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Feyenoord – Match Stats
- Shakhtar Donetsk are first in the Ukrainian Premier League
- Feyenoord are yet to win a game in the Eredivisie since 1 October
- In their previous Champions League meeting, Shakhtar Donetsk won 2-1 at the Stadion Feijenoord
- Yaroslav Rakitskiy and Darijo Srna are suspended for Shakhtar Donetsk
- Shakhtar Donetsk have won last four of their UEFA group home games
- Feyenoord are on a five-game losing streak in Europe
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Feyenoord – 2-0
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Feyenoord – Possible Lineups
Pyatov – Ismaily, Khocholava, Ordets, Butko – Stepanenko, Fred – Bernard, Taison, Marlos – Ferreyra
Coach: Paulo Fonseca
Jones – Haps, St. Juste, Diks, Amrabat – Vilhena, El Ahmadi, Toornstra – Larsson, Boëtius, Berghuis
Coach: Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Callum Seniuk is a History graduate from the United Kingdom who is an avid watcher of the Bundesliga. Losing his passion for the Premier League, Callum quickly found himself developing his love for the Bundesliga and German football. Channeling his Ukrainian heritage, Callum also follows and keeps track of Ukrainian Football. Follow Callum on Twitter @CallumSeniuk