Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Manchester City, the No. 1 favourites to win the Champions League trophy, take on Shakhtar Donetsk at Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist in their opener. The Citizens clinched the Premier League trophy last term, but fellow English side Tottenham proved to be a big catch for them in the quarter-finals of the elite competition. Pep Guardiola’s men are eager to make amends for the unsuccessful campaign and seeing that the Catalan tactician can count on key players for the Shakhtar Donetsk clash, we believe that away win should be considered.
In their last meeting in Ukraine Man City outclassed Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0, which is yet another reason why we are going to put our money on the Premier League champions. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Junior Moraes, who has been scoring goals for fun in the Ukraine Premier League this term.
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 (Man City):
Manchester City are the lest famous of the two major clubs based in Manchester. The club was founded in 1880, but they have been struggling in the English Premier League in the past. Nonetheless, ever since the club was purchased by Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, the Citizens have been playing an important role in the English top flight.
Manchester City won two Premier League trophies under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini (2011/2012 and 2013/2014), but both managers eventually paid the price for some disappointing results. Man City play their home games at the Etihad Stadium and the stadium capacity is 55,097.
Manchester United are regarded as Manchester City’s biggest rivals and the likes of Kun Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Uwe Rosler, Yaya Toure, Sylvain Distin are some of the most remarkable players that played for the Etihad Stadium outfit. Manchester City have won four Premier League titles and five FA Cup trophies and it has to be noted that they made it to the Champions League semis in the 2015/2016 season.