Our prediction for this Champions League match:
A place in the knockout stages of the Champions League will be at stake when Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk face each other at Stadion Maksimir on Wednesday. The Croatian champions have been playing above expectations in the elite competition this term, with the team collecting four points from possible nine in the process.
Since a win over Shakhtar Donetsk would see Dinamo Zagreb move one step closer to booking their place in the last 16, we are positive that the host will adopt an attack-minded approach in the Stadion Maksimir showdown. Since the Croats produced an excellent display in a 2-2 draw with the Ukrainian champions in Kharkiv, we believe that punters can find value in betting on the home side. A man to watch in the Croatian team will be Spanish midfielder Daniel Olmo, who is enjoying yet another successful season.
Highlighted Player (Kévin Théophile-Catherine):
Born in Saint-Brieuc, France, on October 28, 1989, Kevin Theophile-Catherine is a defender who plays for Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb. Theophile-Catherine started his youth career at Rennes and he continued playing for les Rouges et Noirs at senior level.
After scoring two goals in 98 appearances for the club from 2009 to 2013, he moved to Cardiff City in the 2013/2014 season, signing a four-year contract with the Bluebirds. After ending his loan spell with Saint-Etienne, he signed a permanent deal with les Verts in 2015 for a fee of £1.5 million.
The Dinamo Zagreb footballer has one cap with France U21 team, while making four appearances for the U20 team. His main position is centre-back, but he is capable of playing as both right and left back as well. His preferred foot is right and his contract with Dinamo Zagreb should expire on June 30, 2020. Theophile-Catherine made his debut for Dinamo Zagreb in a 2-1 win over Osijek on August 17, 2018.
Highlighted Team (Shakhtar):
Despite the fact that they were founded back in 1936, Shakhtar Donetsk were struggling to win the Ukrainian Premier League trophy until 2002. The Miners have established themselves as the dominant force in Ukrainian football and it has to be noted that they won their ninth domestic trophy in 2014.
Shakhtar Donetsk were playing at Donbass Arena in the past, but due to war in Donbass the club temporarily moved to Arena Lviv. In 2009 the Miners won the UEFA Cup trophy under Romanian boss Mircea Lucescu, beating Werder Bremen in the title game. Croatian full back Dario Srna was named the man of the match. Dynamo Kiev are considered Shakhtar Donetsk’s main rivals and there have always been fireworks in meetings between the two sides.
Shakhtar have a rivalry with Metalurh Donetsk as well and the two local rivals face each other in the Donetsk Derby. Chelsea ace Willian, Manchester United star Mkhitaryan and Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho all played for Shakhtar in the past.