MX23RW : Wednesday, January 22 16:36:42| >> :600:3799724:3799724:
Dec 11, 2019 at 5.55pm UK at ​Donbass Arena
Attendance: 26,536
ShakhtarShakhtar Donetsk
0-3
AtalantaAtalanta BC

Dodo (77')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Castagne (66'), Pasalic (80'), Gosens (94')

Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Atalanta BC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Shakhtar Donetsk's meeting with Atalanta in the Champions League, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.

Shakhtar Donetsk welcome Atalanta BC to Ukraine for a crucial final Champions League group stage clash.

Both teams are still within a shout of qualifying for the knockout phases, with the home side on six points and Atalanta on four.


Match preview

Shakhtar Donetsk's Manor Solomon celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 26, 2019© Reuters

The Ukrainian champions head into this game in the box seat knowing that just a draw over Atalanta, along with Dinamo Zagreb failing to beat Manchester City, would guarantee their place in the knockouts.

Unlike Atalanta, Shakhtar are not strangers to this competition and possess an impressive amount of pedigree - especially in home games.

Their last outing, a 1-1 draw with Pep Guardiola's side at the Etihad, was a demonstration of how these Shakhtar players can be competitive against any opponent in Europe.

For some time, Shakhtar have successfully pursued a transfer policy that places strong emphasis on signing Brazilian players, with five included in the starting XI against City.

This mixture of Brazilian fluidity and Ukrainian muscle, as Atalanta will discover, serves as a particularly well-rehearsed and dangerous combination in the Champions League.

Atalanta's Mario Pasalic celebrates scoring their first goal with Alejandro Gomez on November 6, 2019© Reuters

That said, Atalanta will head into this game with a singular, driven mindset, knowing that a victory is the only thing capable of taking them into the knockout phases.

Previously a team that dwelled in the mid-table region, Atalanta's third place finish in Serie A last season stemmed from several years of good work under manager Gian Piero Gasperini, who guided the club to fourth during his first campaign in charge.

Playing with a 3-4-3 system, Atalanta press teams hard from the front and make the game a pacy, open affair whereby the Italian side looks to break into the final third with its wing backs at the forefront of attacks.

This style has helped them stand out in Serie A, although this has failed to translate to results in Europe, with Atalanta losing their opening three games in poor fashion.

However, a 1-1 draw with City and a win over Zagreb last time out has laid the platform for a potentially historic victory in eastern Europe this week.

Recent Shakhtar Donetsk form: LWDDD
Recent Shakhtar Donetsk form (all competitions): DWWDDW

Recent Atalanta form: LLLDW
Recent Atalanta form (all competitions): DDLWWW


Team News

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini pictured on August 25, 2019© Reuters

Shakhtar head into this game with a clean bill of health, meaning that key striker Junior Moraes, who has 14 goals in all competitions this term, will start the game up front.

Atalanta, meanwhile, will hope that Luis Muriel, who joined over the summer, can score his 10th goal of the campaign in Ukraine on Wednesday.

The visitors are set to be without Josip Ilicic, whose muscle injury looks set to keep him sidelined until 2020.

However, Duvan Zapata has a chance of making a return for this game after resuming training earlier this month following a thigh injury sustained in October.

Shakhtar Donetsk possible starting lineup:
Pyatov; Dodo, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko, Ismaily; Stepanenko, Kovalenko, Alan Patrick, Tete, Konoplyanka; Moraes

Atalanta possible starting lineup:
Gollini; Toloi, Kjaer, Palomino; De Roon, Freuler, Hateboer, Gosens; Gomez, Pasalic, Muriel


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Atalanta

Atalanta's away record in this competition makes them underdogs in this game against Shakhtar, who will feel confident about reaching the knockout phase for the second time in as many seasons.


body check tags ::

Who will win Wednesday's Champions League clash between Shakhtar Donetsk and Atalanta?

Shakhtar Donetsk
Draw
Atalanta
Shakhtar Donetsk
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Atalanta
0.0%
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