Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Barcelona will be aiming to keep their 100% record in Group H intact when they face Shakhtar Donetsk on a neutral location at Volksparkstadion. The Catalan giants survived Real Sociedad in San Sebastian at the weekend and they are now on a quest to seal their spot in the Champions League knockout stages. Fit-again striker Robert Lewandowski returns to the starting XI after missing the last group game with injury, with both Raphinha and Pedri pushing for recalls as well. The likes of Sergi Roberto and Frenkie de Jong miss out with injuries.
The Miners, on the other hand, aim to overtake Porto in second place in the standings, but seeing that Barca boss Xavi can count on key players for Tuesday’s encounter, we are tempted to put our money on the Group H leaders. It has to be noted that Shakhtar defender Yukhym Konoplya is banned for the match.
Highlighted Player (Robert Lewandowski):
After scoring 36 goals in 59 league games for Znicz Pruskow, Robert Lewandowski joined Lech Poznan in June, 2008. The 184-cm-tall attacker scored 18 goals in 28 appearances for the club in the 2009/2010 Ekstraklasa campaign and during the season he was on Borussia Dortmund’s radar.
The Polish forward signed a four-year deal with the Bundesliga side in June, 2010 and he quickly established himself as the team’s key attacker. Lewandowski was producing excellent performances with the Millionaires between 2010 and 2014 and it has to be noted that he won two Bundesliga trophies with the club (2010/2011, 2011/2012). He participated in the 2012/2013 Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund, but the Millionaires were beaten by fellow Bundesliga side Bayern Munich in the title game.
However, he betrayed Borussia Dortmund fans in 2014 as he signed a four-year deal with the Bundesliga giants. Lewandowski impressed in the 2016/2017 Bundesliga campaign as he scored 30 goals in 32 league games for Pep Guardiola’s troops. The Polish footballer represented his homeland at Euro 2016 in France and he scored one goal at the showpiece tournament in France.
Highlighted Team (Shakhtar Donetsk):
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.