Our prediction for this Ukraine Premier League match:
Shakhtar Donetsk will be looking to build on a thrilling 3-1 win over their local rivals Dynamo Kiev when they take on Desna at NSK Olimpijs’kyj. Shakhtar Donetsk are undisputedly the team to beat in the Ukraine Premier League, and despite defending the trophy at the weekend, we predict that they will give fans yet another reason for celebration on Saturday.
The Miners are a real force to be reckoned with at home, and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against Desna. Olekandr Ryabokon’s troops, on the other hand, proved their worth in a 2-0 win over Kolos, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Shakhtar Donetsk, who are a real force to be reckoned with at home. A man to watch in the home team will be Marlos, who scored a brace in the Ukrainian Premier League derby.
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 (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.