Our prediction for this Europa League match:
All eyes will be on Volkswagen Arena when Wolfsburg and Shakhtar Donetsk face each other in the first leg of the Europa League last 16. The Wolves are eyeing their third consecutive win at home ground in the Europa League, but Shakhtar Donetsk, who eliminate Benfica in the previous round, are likely to pose a much bigger threat for the hosts than Saint-Etienne and Malmo.
Anyhow, we predict that the Germans will grab something from Thursday’s football match as they are tough to beat at home. The Ukrainians, aim to go all the way in the Europa League this term, but, no doubt, they would be happy with a draw this time out. A close encounter is on the cards at Volkswagen Arena, and we predict that the two sides are going to share the spoils in their first ever meeting in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Kevin Mbabu):
Born in Chene-Bougeries, Switzerland on April 19, 1995, Kevin Mbabu is a defender who plays for Young Boys. Mbabu started his youth career at Servette and he continued playing for les Grenats at senior level. However, it has to be noted that he made no more than one appearance for Servette in the league during the 2012/2013 season.
Kevin Mbabu then joined Premier League side Newcastle United and after spending two seasons on loan at Rangers and Young Boys, he signed a permanent deal with the Stade de Suisse outfit in 2017. His main position right back, but he is used as both centre and left back as well.
Mbabu is eligible to play for Switzerland, DR Congo and France due to his mixed descent, but he decided to represent the Rossocrociati at senior level. Mbabu made his Switzerland debut in September, 2018 in a 6-0 win over Iceland. His contract with Young Boys should expire in June, 2020.
Highlighted Team (Shakhtar):
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.