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Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Sheriff Tiraspol - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Shakhtar Donetsk will be looking to end a disappointing 2021-22 Champions League group-stage campaign on a positive note when they welcome Sheriff Tiraspol on Tuesday night.

The Ukrainian giants have only picked up one point from their five Group D matches this season, which will see them finish bottom of the section, with Sheriff already making sure of third spot.


Match preview

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Roberto De Zerbi on October 19, 2021© Reuters

Shakhtar reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League back in 2011, but they have now been eliminated in 12 of their 16 participations in the group stage of the European competition.

Roberto De Zerbi's side would have fancied their chances of finishing third in this group even if they could not match Real Madrid and Inter Milan, but they have been off the pace, collecting just a single point from their five matches, which came at home to Inter at the end of September.

Shakhtar have lost each of their last three games in the competition, including back-to-back defeats to Real Madrid, while Inter beat them 2-0 at San Siro on November 24.

The Ukrainian giants have now won just four of their last 24 Champions League matches, suffering 11 defeats in the process, while they have managed only five victories from their last 18 home European fixtures.

The Pitmen are currently top of their domestic table, though, picking up 44 points from their opening 17 matches, and they thumped Lviv 6-1 on Friday to make it seven straight league wins.

Sheriff Tiraspol's Sebastien Thill celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 19, 2021© Reuters

Sheriff, meanwhile, have made sure of third spot in the section and a spot in the Europa League, which has to go down as a huge success for the Yellow and Blacks.

The Wasps, who won a sixth successive Moldovan league title last season, are competing in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in their history and managed to record an incredible 2-1 victory away to Real Madrid in their second Group D fixture at the end of September.

Sheriff won their first two games in the section against Shakhtar and Real Madrid but have lost their last three, which ended their hopes of qualifying for the last-16 stage of the competition.

Yuriy Vernydub's side have actually only lost one of their last 10 away European matches, recording five wins in the process, so they will enter this match full of confidence.

The Moldovan outfit have also been in strong form domestically this season, picking up 41 points from 16 matches to sit second in the table, one point behind Petrocub with three matches in hand on the leaders.

Shakhtar Donetsk Champions League form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Shakhtar Donetsk form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Sheriff Tiraspol Champions League form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Sheriff Tiraspol form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D



Team News

Sheriff Tiraspol's Sebastien Thill celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on September 28, 2021© Reuters

Shakhtar will again be without the services of Ismaily, Alan Patrick, Junior Moraes and Lassina Traore on Tuesday evening through injury.

The home side did not pick up any fresh issues in their league victory over Lviv on Friday, though, and head coach De Zerbi is expected to send a strong side onto the field for this match.

Manor Solomon was among those to come off the bench last time out, and the 22-year-old should be back in the side here, while Tete and Taras Stepanenko will be among those to retain their spots.

As for Sheriff, midfielder Moussa Kyabou remains on the sidelines through injury, while Jasurbek Yakhshiboev has missed his side's last two matches and is a major doubt here.

Head coach Vernydub will be desperate to end the team's first ever Champions League group-stage campaign on a positive note, so the visitors are expected to be at full strength.

A 4-2-3-1 formation should see Adama Traore lead the line, while Cristiano and Fernando Costanza have made big impressions from full-back this term, and the pair should again be in the starting XI.

Shakhtar Donetsk possible starting lineup:
Trubin; Dodo, Vitao, Marlon, Matvienko; Maycon, Stepanenko; Tete, Pedrinho, Solomon; Fernando

Sheriff Tiraspol possible starting lineup:
Athanasiadis; Costanza, Arboleda, Dulanto, Cristiano; Addo, S Thill; Souza, Kolovos, Castaneda; A Traore


SM words green background

We say: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Sheriff Tiraspol

Shakhtar will be desperate to end their 2021-22 European campaign on a winning note, but Sheriff have proved their credentials in the Champions League this season, and we can see the Moldovan outfit claiming a point on Tuesday night to round off a very successful group stage.



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:data


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How you voted: Shakhtar vs Sheriff Tiraspol

Shakhtar Donetsk
53.4%
Draw
17.6%
Sheriff Tiraspol
29.0%
193
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Dynamo Kiev1613214383541
2Shakhtar DonetskShakhtar1613214183341
3Dnipro-1Dnipro-116111429161334
4Vorskla PoltavaVorskla1694329171231
5Zorya LuhanskLuhansk1592434181629
6Desna ChernihivDesna167361822-424
7FC OleksandriyaOleksandriya156541513223
8Veres166461416-222
9Metalist Kharkiv166191626-1019
10Kolos KovalivkaKovalivka165381122-1118
11Rukh Lviv154471520-516
12FC LvivLviv164481223-1116
13Chornomorets OdesaChornomorets162591736-1911
14Minai161781125-1410
15Inhulets152491126-1510
16MariupolMariupol1621131838-207

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