Shakhtar Donestk vs Wolfsburg Preview
The 2009 Europa League Champions, Shakhtar Donestk, seems to have their campaign this season on the right track. They had a positive result in the first leg and managed to secure the league title last month. The Ukrainian side has been unbeaten in the last eleven games so far. However, they need to remain cautious while hosting Wolfsburg in the Europa League second leg this midweek as the visitors still have the potential to turn things round. All Oliver Glasner’s men need is a victory with two-goal difference, which is still doable.
The teams’ latest news
Shakhtar last played in a competitive game on July 19th when they visited FC Olexandriya’s home base. They were held in a 2-2 draw at that time, despite having a two-goal lead from Tete and Manor Solomon. Yet, their prospective win disappeared in less than two minute as Oleksiy Dovgiy and Evgen Banada equalised.
Wolfsburg, on the other hand, were hapless in the last round of Bundesliga. They were sinking in Allianz Arena and trashed by Die Roeten 4-0. Kingsley Coman, Michael Cuisance, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller scored the host’s winning goals.
Luis Castro seems to be employing more offensive tactical approach with 4-1-4-1 with Brazilian connections in the squad. Such has been Shakhtar’s trademark since their continental success in 2009 with the notable figures such as Fernandinho, Luiz Adriano and Willian. In the recent team, Junior Moraes, Taison and Alan Patrick are the main forward supported by Viktor Kovalenko and Taras Stepachenko in the midfield.
Oliver Glasner lately often opts for 4-4-2 with the transition to 4-4-1-1. The Dutch international Wout Weighorst is still the main forward. He can be paired up with Josip Brekalo or the Swiss international Admir Mehmedi. Such formation does provide balance for offence and defence as well as the opportunity to optimise the striker’s potential. There are only three names on the injury table, the duo Brasilians, William, Paulo Otavio, Kevin Mbabu and Ignacio Camacho.
Players to watch
Shakhtar’s top performers this season are the winger Alan Patrick, the Ukrainian international defensive midfielder, Taras Stephachenko and the left wing Ismaily. Another key figure in the current squad is the former Schalke man, Yevhen Konoplyanka.
Wolfsburg’s key figures since the restart are the captain Max Arnold with his four goals and eight assists, the winger Renato Steffen and William. Another notable name to watch is certainly the top scorer Wout Weighorst.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Wolfsburg Prediction
The home side surely have a better opportunity to secure the ticket for the quarter final. Yet, it does not mean that Die Wolfe have no chance at all to steal a win. All they need is the more solid defence so that they do not concede and the ability to score as early as possible either at the first or second half. Once Luis Castro’s men are frustrated, the wind might be on Max Arnold and Co’s side. The match could go on to penalties and the fate will depend on the goalies and the lady luck.
According to the punters, this clash is likely to be even. Wolfsburg’s odds to win are at 2.85, whereas Taison and Co are backed to win at 2.35. The draw result is slightly lower at the value of 3.65.