Our prediction for this Europa League match:
A place in the Europa League last 16 will be at stake when Shakhtar Donetsk and Olympique Marseille face each other in an eagerly-awaited two-legged tie. The Miners have not been in action since December 8. 2023 and, no doubt, they face a tough challenge against the Ligue 1 outfit. As the game will be played on the neutral location, home win should not be considered.
OM, on the other hand, failed to win the previous five league matches. Chancel Mbemba is a major doubt after returning recently from international duty, while all Nadir, Rongier, and Ruiz are out of contention with injuries. Anyhow, the share of spoils is on the cards in the first leg as Marseille do not seem to be at the top of their game. In their last meeting in the Europa League, back in 2009, Shakhtar Donetsk defeated Olympique Marseille in the double-header.
Highlighted Player (Amine Harit):
Amine Harit is a French-born Moroccan footballer, who plays for Schalke 04 in Bundesliga. Born in Pontoise (France) on June 18, 1997, Harit began his youth career in the suburbs of Paris, learning the football basics with Argentuil C.O.
After spending four years at Esperance Paris 19eme, the attacking midfielder moved to famous French club Paris Saint-Germain. However, he quickly returned to Esperance Paris 19eme and in 2011 he joined fellow French club Red Star. One year later he moved to Nantes, where he ended his youth career.
Amine Harit continued playing for les Canaris at senior level and after scoring one goal in 30 league games for Nantes, he signed a contract with Bundesliga side Schalke 04. Harit made two appearances for France U21 team, but he represents Morocco at senior level. The attacking midfielder, who is used as a winger as well, made his Morocco debut on October 7, 2017 against Gabon in the 2018 FIFA world cup qualifiers.
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.