Preview: Manchester United vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Sports Mole looks ahead to Manchester United's Champions League clash against Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

Tuesday night's Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk could well prove to be a welcome distraction for Manchester United manager David Moyes.

In terms of the Premier League, the Scot has seen his side endure a run of four matches without a victory, the last two of which have ended in home defeats.

As far as United are concerned, they have already qualified for the latter stages of Europe's top club competition. A win against the Ukrainians would seal top spot, as would a draw.

In terms of team selection, Moyes will be able to call upon Wayne Rooney after the striker served a one-match domestic suspension last time out.

His return is likely to see Robin van Persie, who has been carrying groin and toe injuries, drop out. Elsewhere, the likes of Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck could all earn recalls.

Visiting Shakhtar, who will pip the Red Devils to first spot if they leave Old Trafford with all three points, have no injury concerns. What's more, they go into the encounter having won their last four games in all competitions.

Failure to record a victory would leave Mircea Lucescu's men requiring Real Sociedad to claim at least a share of the spoils from their fixture with Bayer Leverkusen if they are to progress.

When these two sides met earlier in the competition, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Recent form

Man United: WDWDLL

Shakhtar: LDWWWW

Possible starting lineups

Man United: De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Jones, Giggs, Kagawa; Welbeck, Rooney

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

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Manchester United manager David Moyes reacts on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on September 28, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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