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Shakhtar Donetsk
Champions League | Group Stage
Nov 28, 2023 at 5.45pm UK
Imtech Arena
Royal Antwerp
Shakhtar
1 - 0
Antwerp
Matviyenko (12')
Gocholeishvili (83'), Riznyk (90+7')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Coulibaly (30'), Kerk (45+1'), Muja (90+4')
Muja (90+7')

Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Royal Antwerp - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Shakhtar Donetsk are still in with a shout of making the last-16 stage of the Champions League, as they prepare to take on Royal Antwerp in their penultimate game in Group H on Tuesday night.

The Ukrainian side are currently third in Group H on six points, three points behind the top two Barcelona and Porto, who will also lock horns on matchday five of what is a fascinating section.


Match preview

Shakhtar Donetsk's Danylo Sikan celebrates scoring their first goal on November 7, 2023© Reuters

Shakhtar were brilliant in their 1-0 success over Barcelona in the competition last time out, with Danylo Sikan netting the only goal of the contest in the 40th minute, and the result moved them onto six points in the section.

As mentioned, the Ukrainian giants are third in Group H on six points, three points behind both second-placed Porto and leaders Barcelona, with those two teams also meeting on Tuesday night in Spain.

Shakhtar cannot actually be eliminated on matchday five, even if they lose to Antwerp, as their head-to-head record with Barcelona is level, although the chances are that they will need to win their final two games with Antwerp and Porto in order to claim a top-two position in the section.

Marino Pusic's side have lost to Porto (home) and Barcelona (away) in the group, in addition to beating Antwerp (away) and Barcelona (home), but they have not triumphed since that one-goal success over the La Liga champions and will enter this match off the back of a goalless draw with Polissya in the league.

Shakhtar, who are currently fourth in their domestic table, five points behind the leaders Kryvbas KR, have not managed to progress to the knockout round of the Champions League since the 2017-18 campaign, when they were beaten by Roma in the round of 16.

Royal Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel reacts on October 25, 2023© Reuters

Antwerp, meanwhile, opened their group-stage campaign with a 5-0 defeat to Barcelona, before suffering a 3-2 loss to Shakhtar in the reverse match between these two sides.

The Belgian outfit were then beaten 4-1 at home by Porto before losing 2-0 in Portugal last time out, with zero points from four matches leaving them comfortably at the bottom of the section, but they still have a slight chance of securing third spot and a position in the Europa League.

Mark van Bommel's side will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Sint-Truiden in the league on Friday, with the result leaving them fifth in their domestic table.

Antwerp, who won their fifth Belgian First Division title last season, are competing in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in their history, and they have found it difficult to operate at the top table.

Only three goals scored and 14 conceded is an indication of their difficulties in this group, and Shakhtar will be confident of claiming all three points on Tuesday if they perform anywhere near their level against Barcelona.

Shakhtar Donetsk Champions League form:


Shakhtar Donetsk form (all competitions):


Royal Antwerp Champions League form:


Royal Antwerp form (all competitions):



Team News

Shakhtar Donetsk's Georgiy Sudakov celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 25, 2023© Reuters

Shakhtar will again have leading goalscorer Sikan at the tip of their attack for this match, with the 22-year-old finding the back of the net on six occasions this term, including the winner against Barcelona.

Lassina Traore, Artem Bondarenko and Ivan Petryak will again miss out through injury, but the Ukrainian outfit have no fresh concerns ahead of the contest.

Oleksandr Zubkov has contributed three goals from a deeper area this season and will again be in the XI, while the experienced Taras Stepanenko will continue to anchor the midfield on Tuesday night.

Antwerp will be without the services of Jurgen Ekkelenkamp due to the midfielder's red card in the clash with Porto last time out.

Meanwhile, Bjorn Engels, Mandela Keita, Jacob Ondrejka and Anthony Valencia will be unavailable for selection due to fitness problems.

Arthur Vermeeren, 18, is regarded as one of the best young talents in European football, with many of the world's leading clubs said to be after him, and he will again feature for the Belgian side here.

Meanwhile, Vincent Janssen, who has scored nine times in 22 appearances in all competitions this season, will lead the Antwerp line on Tuesday.


Shakhtar Donetsk possible starting lineup:
Riznyk; Gocholeishvili, Bondar, Rakitskyi, Matvienko; Zubkov, Kryskiv, Stepanenko, Sudakov, Newerton; Sikan

Royal Antwerp possible starting lineup:
Lammens; De Laet, Van den Bosch, Coulibaly, Wijndal; Yusuf, Vermeeren; Kerk, Muja, Balikwisha; Janssen


SM words green background

We say: Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 Royal Antwerp

Shakhtar were impressive against Barcelona last time out in the competition, and we are expecting them to have too much for Antwerp in this match. The visitors certainly have enough quality to cause problems on Tuesday, but Shakhtar should be able to navigate their way to all three points.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl


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Game History

How you voted: Shakhtar vs Antwerp

Shakhtar Donetsk
80.3%
Draw
11.5%
Royal Antwerp
8.3%
157
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