Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Manchester City / Champions League – One of two teams that have maximal score in the Champions League, Manchester City meets in the last, sixth round Shakhtar in Ukraine, which currently occupies the second place in the Group F and has three points more than Napoli, which means that a draw with the Citizens is enough to reach the round of 16. Let’s add that the first match between the two teams in Manchester ended as City’s routine victory of 2-0. Begins: 06.12.2017 – 20:45 CET
Of course, no one in Shakhtar is happy that they need to win the key point for reached the knockout phase of the Champions League against team that is perhaps in the best shape in the whole Europe, regardless that they will be the hosts. True, we all know that due to conflict in eastern Ukraine Shakhtar plays its home matches in Kharkov but the atmosphere there is simply not even close to one in Donetsk, however, we also believe that on Wednesday evening they will have solid support from the stands.
The Ukrainian champion occupies leading position in national championship, while in the Champions League it won three matches and lost two when it played away with Manchester Citi and Napoli. In order to reach the round of 16 they will probably need one point from the match with the Citizens, given that Napoli currently has three points fewer but it will face already written-off Feyenoord in the last round. Let’d add that this match will skip due to injuries defenders Butko and Kryvtsov, and midfielders Taison and Malyshev, while defender Srna is suspended.
Probable lineups Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov – Petryak, Ordets, Rakitsky, Ismaily – Fred, Stepanenko – Marlos, Kovalenko, Bernard – Ferreyra
We have said that the guests from Manchester are one of two teams with maximal score in first five round of the group phase of Champions League, while in the English Premier League they have big eight points more than second-placed Manchester United. They will meet exactly this team next weekend in the league and Guardiola will probably rest several starters in this match with Shakhtar.
It doesn’t mean that the Citizens come to Kharkov as tourists especially as their winning series is 20 victories long and they probably want to keep the good atmosphere in the locker room ahead of great city derby with the United. They shouldn’t play with full throttle in Kharkov as their imperative is to avoid injuries like those that sent defenders Stones and Mendy on the bench. Besides two of them this match with Shakhtar will also skip suspended midfielder De Bruyne.
Probable lineups Manchester City: Bravo – Danilo, Kompany, Mangala, Delph – Fernandinho – B. Silva, Gundogan, Yaya Toure, Sane – Jesus
Shakhtar Donetsk – Manchester City PICK
Although Shakhtar needs just one point to reach the round of 16 we believe it will have to fight an uphill battle if they want to win it, given they will face team that has unbelievable 20-game winning streak.
Pick: Asian handicap +0.5 Manchester City
Odds: 1.63 at betvictor (down to 1.58 can be played)