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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