Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Manchester United

Sports Mole looks ahead to Manchester United's trip to Shakhtar Donetsk for their Champions League encounter.

David Moyes has not enjoyed the most successful of starts to his stint as manager of Manchester United.

From a possible 18 points in the Premier League, Moyes's side have collected just seven, while they have also lost to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

However, the Red Devils won their opening Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 earlier this month. On Wednesday, the English champions will go up against a side that also emerged victorious from their first group fixture - Shakhtar Donetsk, who overcame Real Sociedad 2-0.

Having been left out of the weekend's 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion, experienced defensive duo Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra are expected to return to the United starting lineup, as is Robin van Persie.

Rio Ferdinand, who has been heavily criticised for his performance against the Baggies, could be dropped, though, with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans all vying for his place.

The hosting Ukrainian giants have a number of Brazilians within their squad, with the likes of Bernard, Alex Teixeira and Douglas Costa all tipped to start.

These two sides have never faced each other, but Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu was in charge of Inter Milan when they were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by United back in 1999.

Recent form

Shakhtar: WLWWWD

Man United: LWWLWL

Possible starting lineups

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

Man United: De Gea; Evra, Vidic, Evans, Rafael; Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Nani; Rooney, Van Persie

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Manchester United manager David Moyes prior to kick-off against Manchester City on September 22, 2013
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Tables
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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