Preview: Manchester United vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Preview: Man United vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
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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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