Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Shakhtar Donetsk failed to book their place in the Champions League group stages, but they have been impressive in the Europa League in the 2016/2017 season. The Miners recorded a hard-fought (1-0) win over Konyaspor in their Europa League opener and they defeated Sporting Braga in their second group game. Important midfielder Fred was sent off in the 2-0 victory over Braga, meaning that he will miss Thursday’s football match against Gent through suspension. Anyhow, coach Paulo Fonseca has a number of high-profile players to choose from and we predict that the Ukrainians are going to extend their winning run in Group H. Gent did well to beat Konyaspor in their first home game in the 2016/2017 Europa League campaign, but seeing that the Belgian team often struggle on the travels, away win should not be considered in this one. The two teams take on each other for the first time ever in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Yaroslav Rakitskiy):
Yaroslav Rakitskiy is a professional footballer who was born on 3 August, 1989. Rakitskiy made his Shakhtar Donetsk debut on 31 August, 2009 in a 3-1 win over Zorya. It has to be noted that he came as a substitute in the second half of the match.
The Ukrainian footballer who plays as both centre and a left back, made 24 league appearances for the club in the 2009/2010 season and he has been playing for the Miners ever since. Rakitskiy made his Ukraine debut on 10 October, 2009 in a 1-0 win over England in a World Cup qualifying match. Just four days later he scored his first goal for the Ukrainian national team, finding the net in a thrilling 6-0 victory over Andorra.
Yaroslav made two appearances for Ukraine at the 2016 European Championship finals in France, in the opener against Germany (0-2) and in a 2-0 loss to Northern Ireland. His contract with Shakhtar Donetsk expires on 30 June, 2018.
Highlighted Team (AA Gent):
Gent are a Belgian football club that plays their home games at Ghelamco Arena. The venue has been the club’s home ground since 2013 and the capacity of the stadium is 20 000. De Buffalo’s participate in the Belgian Pro League and they clinched their first domestic trophy in the 2014/2015 season.
Gent finished the regular part of the season in second place in the standings, but they eventually climbed to the top position in the table in the play-off. The club won their third Belgian Cup trophy in 2010 and it has to be noted that they defeated Club Brugge in the Belgian Super Cup in 2015. Laurent Depoitre scored the winner for Gent three minutes before the final whistle.
A number of top-class players were part of the team in the past and the likes of Victor Fernandez, Johan Boskamp, Bob Peeters, Trond Sollied and Michel Preud’homme are some of notable footballers who played for Gent in the past.