Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk face off against Sérgio Conceição’s FC Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday at Volksparkstadion, Hamburg.
- The ‘home side’ are unbeaten to start the season and have dropped points in just two of their opening league matches
- Porto are also undefeated to start to their domestic campaign and have won all but one of their first five Primeira Liga games
- The last two clashes between the two sides have ended in draws
Shakhtar Donetsk finished in third-place in Group F of last year’s Champions League, meaning they dropped into the Europa League knockouts. Porto were surprise Group B winners as they finished ahead of Club Brugge, Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid but were knocked out by finalists Inter in the last 16.
Shakhtar Donetsk Form
Patrick van Leeuwen’s side have made a solid start to their 2023/24 Ukrainian Premier League campaign and sit top through seven games. They are yet to be beaten in competitive action so far this season and have recorded the victory in all but two of their seven league outings.
Both draws have come away from home but they will feel confident about getting a result on ‘home soil’ in this one. Shakhtar are currently on a three-match winning streak, picking up wins over Kolos Kovalivka, Minaj and Obolon. Their last triumph came in a 1-0 win over Obolon thanks to a goal from Yehor Nazaryna.
FC Porto Form
Dragões are also unbeaten to start the league season, despite suffering a 2-0 Super Cup defeat against champions Benfica. Nevertheless, they haven’t lost since, winning four of their last five games in Primeira Liga.
Porto kicked off their league campaign with three straight wins, starting with a 2-1 victory away to Moreirense. Their next two matches ended in a 2-1 scoreline too as they picked up wins against Farense and Rio Ave. However, they would then go on to draw 1-1 at home to Arouca before returning to winning ways with a 1-0 victory away to Estrela in their last match.
Shakhtar and Porto last met during the 2014/15 Champions League campaign. They were drawn together in Group H, with both fixtures ending in stalemates. This fixture ended 2-2, whilst the clash in Portugal ended 1-1. Porto recorded victories during their previous meetings when they were both placed in Group G of the 2011/12 Champions League tournament.
Valeriy Bondar and Lassina Traore are both expected to miss out on the clash for Shakhtar here due to respective collarbone and tendon injuries. Mykola Matviienko is also questionable after missing the last match due to injury.
The visitors have a plethora of selection issues ahead of this one. Evanilson, Gabriel Veron, Marko Grujic and Ivan Marcano are all expected to remain on the sidelines due to injury. Brazilian forward Pepe is suspended, whilst Danny Namaso is in doubt after missing the Estrela match.
Oleksii Kashchuk has been in good form for Shakhtar to start the season and has four goal contributions in six appearances. Youngster Heorhiy Sudakov will also be a threat in the midfield and will look to build on his three assists in European competitions last term.
Porto will be relying on forward Mehdi Taremi to get the goals for them. The 31-year-old bagged 22 league goals last term and also managed five in the Champions League with two assists. However, he has just one goal in five league appearances this term.
Shakhtar and Porto are both in good form entering this one but the away side are the stronger side so should pick up all three points. Nevertheless, their list of injuries offers some concern so it could be close.