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Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Marseille – Prediction

Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Marseille – Prediction

Shakhtar Donetsk will host Marseille in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16. Gennaro Gattuso’s team finished second in Group B of the Europa League. The Ukrainian champions were relegated after finishing third in their Champions League group.

Preview (Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Marseille)

Owing to the protracted winter break in the Ukrainian Premier League, Shakhtar Donetsk hasn’t played to earn valuable points since their thrilling 8 goals that flew into the net during their final Champions League Group H match against Porto on December 13. Regrettably, five of those efforts came from the Portuguese heavyweights. They defeated Shakhtar 5-3 to guarantee their spot in the Champions League’s last 16.

Pusic’s club did, however, have one consolation trophy to take home. The Miners not only defeated defending champion Royal Antwerp but also narrowly defeated Barcelona 1-0 in Hamburg. Shakhtar has failed to advance from the group stage of the Champions League in each of the previous six tournaments. They losing an 8-2 aggregate match to Feyenoord in the round of 16.

The hosts have only won three of their seven friendlies since their domestic league resumed, with their solitary victory coming on February 8—a 4-1 thumping of Turkmenistan’s Arkadag. They now face the possibility of losing seven straight Europa League games without keeping a clean sheet for the first time. Marseille’s strategy was straightforward. They needed to win Group B and avoid losing to Brighton in order to advance. But on the English coast, the Olympiens’ prolific touch failed them. The Seagulls upset the apple cart to miss the playoffs.

Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Marseille - Prediction
Source: Telecom Asia

Team News

For Thursday’s first leg, a few Shakhtar players—including Burkina Faso forward Lassina Traore, who has only appeared in three games this season owing to a tendon injury—will probably stay in the treatment room. The hosts’ infirm list also includes Ivan Petryak (ankle), Marlon Gomes (calf), and backup goalie Tymur Puzankov (ACL). Gomes was one of the two winter recruits from Brazil for the Miners. They also signed 21-year-old winger Kevin from Palmeiras. This week, the Selecao Under-20 international is set to make his competitive debut for the Ukrainian champions. He will have tough competition from his adolescent countrymen, Eduardo and Newerton.

Samuel Gigot’s first-half red card hindered Marseille’s attempt to thrash Metz, although Sarr is sidelined after receiving too many yellow cards. Gigot is still eligible to play in the Europa League. In addition to Valentin Rongier (knee), Bilal Nadir (ACL), and Amir Murillo (muscle), neither Geoffrey Kondogbia (muscle) nor Jordan Veretout (unspecified) was fit to play against Les Grenats, despite prior optimism on their individual degrees of fitness.

Though one more goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will take him to 30 in the Europa League, Gattuso should have Chancel Mbemba back at his disposal after the center-back helped DR Congo finish fourth at the Africa Cup of Nations. Only Radamel Falcao has made as many attempts since the tournament’s rebranding.

Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Marseille 

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