Feyenoord vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Tuesday, October 17, 19:45 BT/20:45 CET – De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League will see Shakhtar Donetsk travel to the Netherlands where they will face Feyenoord at Rotterdam’s De Kuip. Shakhtar had a solid start in Group F beating Napoli 2-1 at home before losing 2-0 at the Etihad in what was a relatively tight affair against group favourites Manchester City.
Shakhtar’s performances in Group F this far have in fact meant that the Ukrainian side are slight favourites over Napoli to advance to the round of 16 ahead of Napoli. Guided by the Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca Shakhtar show glimpses of the team that dazzled many in Europe a few years ago when the Romanian Mircea Lucescu was in charge of the club. Well organised in the back with brilliant and lightning fast players up front Shakhtar might still be the best club side coming out of the post-Soviet space.
That in itself is a remarkable achievement given the political situation in Donetsk. Shakhtar have now been forced into exile for the fourth season in a row. After playing two and a half seasons in Lviv, the club has now found a more suitable home in Kharkiv. It appears the move has given both the club and its players a big boost. Shakhtar are once again top of the league and look like a contender in the Champions League as well.
Heading to Rotterdam Shakhtar will now attempt to cement this appearance with another victory. On paper, Shakhtar should be the favourites against the Dutch champion. Rotterdam have a good side, but have not appeared in the Champions League since the 2002-03 season and are showing the typical symptoms of a team still getting used to the rhythm of playing on the weekend and midweek. Shakhtar’s experience of playing in Europe should, therefore, give them an edge. But the Ukrainians have never beaten a Dutch side, and they will now have to show that they cannot only cement their good start in Group F but also beat history.
Feyenoord vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Players to Watch Out For
Steven Berghuis #19 – Feyenoord
In 2015 Steven Berghuis joined FC Watford from AZ Alkmaar after scoring eleven goals and five assists in 22 Eredivisie games. What followed was a miserable season in England and escape back to the Netherlands where Berghuis joined Feyenoord in 2016. First signed on loan Feyenoord made the deal fulltime after an impressive season where Berghuis has scored seven goals and six assists guiding Feyenoord to the Dutch championship. The right-winger is now looking to build on last season and has already scored six goals and one assist in six Eredivisie games this season.
Facundo Ferreyra #19 – Shakhtar Donetsk
With six goals in eleven games, Facundo Ferreyra is Shakhtar Donetsk’s top scorer this season. The Argentine forward is one of many players, who benefitted from Shakhtar’s coaching change that saw Mircea Lucescu leave and Paulo Fonseca come in in the summer of 2016. The Portuguese coach has regularly used Ferreyra upfront preferring a breaker to complement the technical gifted attacking midfielders Taison, Bernard and Marlos. Ferreyra’s tall frame and muscular appearance make him a perfect target man. But the right-footed striker is showing this year that he can do more than just hold the ball scoring frequently himself.
Feyenoord vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Match Stats
- Both sides lost on matchday 2.
- This is the first-ever meeting between Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk.
- This is Shakhtar’s fifth game against a club from the Netherlands, and they have lost all the previous four, scoring three goals and conceding ten.
- Shakhtar’s most recent contests came against AZ Alkmaar in the 2004-05 UEFA Cup round of 16, a 3-1 home defeat preceding a 2-1 reverse in the Netherlands (2-5 on aggregate).
- Shakhtar had won their previous five European away games before losing at Manchester City, and have picked up victories in eight of their last 11 matches outside Ukraine, losing the other three.
- The Dutch side’s record at home to clubs from Ukraine is W2 D1 L1. Their most recent fixtures came in the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League group stage when they won 1-0 at home to Zorya Luhansk before a 1-1 away draw in Odesa.
- Beaten 4-0 at home by Manchester City on opening night, Feyenoord have not registered a home win in the UEFA Champions League since a 2-1 success over Spartak Moscow in Rotterdam on October 31, 2001. Their record since is D2 L2.
Futbolgrad Prediction: Feyenoord vs Shakhtar Donetsk 0-2
Feyenoord vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Possible Starting Lineups
Manager: Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Jones – Haps, St. Juste, van Beek, Amrabat – El Ahmadi, Toornstra, Vilhena –Boëtius, Jørgensen Berghuis
Pyatov – Butko, Ordets, Rakitskiy, Ismaily – Fred, Stepanenko – Marlos, Bernard, Taison – Ferreyra
Manager: Paulo Fonseca
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.