Our prediction for this Champions League match:
All eyes will be on NSC Olympiyskiy Stadium when Shakhtar Donetsk and Genk face each other in the Champions League third qualifying round, return leg. Shakhtar Donetsk came from behind to beat Genk in Belgium, with the Ukrainian outfit moving one step closer to making it to the playoffs. Since Genk have no other choice but to adopt an attack-minded approach in the second leg, we predict that the Miners will have a number of opportunities to seal the victory on the break.
Alan Patrick, who scored the winner in the first leg, is pushing for a start. The Belgians, on the other hand, have been struggling at the back in all competitions this season. De Smurfen are low on spirits ahead of the trip to Ukraine, and given their shaky defence, home win should be considered. Colombian defender Carlos Cuesta has overcome his injury.
Highlighted Player (Yevgen Konoplyanka):
Arguably the most talented footballer to have worn the Ukraine jersey since Yevgen Shevchenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka is a creative midfielder who can play on either wing as well as through the middle. The talented footballer started attracting interest from abroad soon after coming through the youth ranks at Dnipro, but he resisted temptation to join a top European club and waited for his contract to expire before signing a four-year deal with Europa League holders Sevilla.
As expected, Konplyanka quickly proved his worth at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, scoring important goals in La Liga and Europe during his debut season. Together with Andriy Yarmolenko, he has formed one of the best wing partnerships in international football, scoring 11 goals in his first 50 appearances for the national team.
After starting all three games at the Euro 2012 on home soil, Konoplyanka helped Zbirna qualify for the Euro 2016 finals, netting two times in eleven qualifiers as Ukraine defeated Slovenia in the play-offs.
Highlighted Team (Genk):
Founded in 1988, Genk are considered one of the youngest clubs in Belgium. Luminus Arena is the home stadium of the club, the capacity of the venue is 24 956 and it was built in 1999. Speaking of UEFA matches, the stadium can hold 21 500 spectators.
Genk clinched one Belgian Pro League trophy in the 20th century, with the team winning the 1989/1999 title. They finished the season with 73 points, two points clear of second-placed Club Brugge. Genk won their second domestic trophy in 2002 and the team lifted the Belgian Pro League title in 2011 as well. Speaking of the Belgian Cup, the club clinched their fourth trophy in the competition in 2013.
The club is well known for their brilliant school and you should bear in mind that the likes of Steven Defour, Christian Benteke, Thibaut Courtois, Divock Origi and Kevin De Bruyne are all products of Genk’s football academy.