Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Bayer Leverkusen
© Getty Images
Sports Mole looks ahead to Tuesday's Champions League clash between Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayer Leverkusen.

Hosting Shakhtar Donetsk go in to Tuesday's clash with Bayer Leverkusen at the Donbass Arena in the knowledge that they cannot afford to lose if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Last time out they slumped to a 4-0 defeat to their German visitors, which has left them on four points from their opening three group encounters.

Victory for Shakhtar would lift them above Leverkusen, but a defeat, particularly if Manchester United win against Real Sociedad in the other group fixture, would leave Mircea Lucescu's side requiring slip-ups for them to get through.

Lucescu has a large Brazilian contingent within his squad and is expected to use a handful of them for this encounter. One of those who could come in is Bernard, who joined the club during the summer.

Meanwhile, the away side are expected to start Stefan Kiessling up front. The German scored a brace during the recent reverse fixture.

Bayer are likely to be without Bosnian centre-back Emir Spahic because of a back injury. As a result, Philipp Wollscheid could deputise.

Recent form

Shakhtar: WWWLLD

Leverkusen: WWLWWL

Possible starting lineups

Shakhtar: Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Shevchuk, Rakitskiy; Hubschman, Teixeira, Bernard, Fernando, Adriano; Taison

Leverkusen: Leno; Boenisch, Wollscheid, Toprak, Donati; Rolfes, Sam, Castro, Son, Can; Kiessling

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Leverkusen's striker Stefan Kiessling celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match against Shakhtar Donetsk on October 23, 2013
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