UEFA Champions League Match Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Napoli
Napoli head to Ukraine for Shakhtar opener
Champions league 2017/18
Group stage-group F
Venue: OSK Metalist Stadion,Kharkiv
Kickoff: 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET, 12:15am IST(tomorrow)
Refree: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Marco Achmüller (GER)
Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Additional assistant referees
Daniel Siebert (GER)
Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Shakhtar are going good at the start of this season. Their 3-1 win over Zorya on Saturday made it six wins on the row for them, and they have won eight of their nine competitive matches this season. That includes a Super Cup win over Dynamo Kiev. They missed out on the Champions League group stages last season after losing to Young Boys in the third qualifying round.
Maurizio Sarri, Napoli coach
“Shakhtar are not well known in Italy but we are familiar with their strengths. They have very fast, technical players. They attack with many players including both full-backs who help them build numerical superiority in the final third. Shakhtar are different to Dynamo Kyiv [whom Napoli defeated 2-1 on matchday one last term]. The latter is a more physical team and the Donetsk side are more technical.”
On the other hand Napoli are in a good form as well. Maurizio Sarri has a lethal attacking lineup featuring the likes of Jose Callejon, Dries Mertens, Arkadiusz Milik and Lorenzo Insigney . Napoli beat Nice 2-0 both home and away to qualify for the Champions League group stages, either side of their 3-1 win at Hellas Verona on the opening day of the new Serie A season. Since then, they have beaten Atalanta 3-1 at home and, on Sunday, won 3-0 at Bologna.Its really hard to predict the winners from todays game.
Shakhtar: Maksym Malyshev, Serhiy Kryvtsov
Napoli: Vlad Chiricheş
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Napoli: Head to head
This is going to be the first ever head to head encounter between these two sides.
Shakhtar Donetsk have lost 75% of their last eight Champions League matches, whilst Napoli have won 60% of their last five in the competition.
Shakhtar: Maksym Malyshev is out as he recovers from a knee operation. Taras Stepanenko is also pushing for a recall, after dropping to the bench last time out
Napoli: Defender Lorenzo Tonelli and midfielder Leandrinho are expected to miss out here.
Shakhtar have lost 12/18 games vs serie a sides
Predicted Starting Line-up:
Shakhtar Donetsk : Expected Line-up: 4-2-3-1
Shakhtar Donetsk likely XI : Goalkeeper:Pyatov,Srna, Krivstov, Ordets, Ismaily,Fred, Stepanenko,Marlos, Kovalenko, Bernard, Ferreyra
Napoli Predicted Starting Line-up: Expected Line-up: 4-3-3
Napoli likely XI: Reina,Hysaj, Chiriches, Koulibaly, Ghoulam,Jorginho, Allan, Hamsik,Callejon, Mertens, Insigne