Shakhtar Donetsk take on the visitors Antwerp in the round 5 match of UEFA Champions League group stage. The match will be played on Tuesday, November 28th at Volksparkstadion (Hamburg).
Shakhtar Donetsk exceeded expectations in the previous season. The newly assembled team started with a convincing victory over RB Leipzig and narrowly missed defeating Real Madrid, securing 3rd place with a couple of draws against Celtic. As a result, under Jovicevic's guidance, they entered the Europa League, defeating Rennes but facing a defeat from Feyenoord in Rotterdam. However, the subsequent coach, Van Leuven, struggled, and despite a hard-fought victory over Porto, the team faced challenges. The debut of Pusic against Barcelona showcased a worthy performance, losing 1-2 in Catalonia, and in October, the orange-black surprised everyone by winning against the favorite. Now they have a chance to secure the 2nd spot in the group, but only a victory will keep them in the race for the Champions League playoffs.
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Antwerp hoped for a different debut in the tournament. The Great Old rightfully carried this nickname. They collected numerous trophies, but the last championship was in 1957. They had to wander outside the Jupiler League, and upon return, they only managed to win the cup. However, the bet on Van Bommel brought a breakthrough. Mark surpassed expectations, achieving a golden double last season. After the summer break, the grand club even won the country's Super Cup with difficulty. Still, in the new championship, they fell significantly behind the new leader, Union, making it increasingly challenging to recover such a gap. In the Champions League, their successes were limited to the qualification against Greek AEK. In the group stage, they suffered only defeats, with Barcelona inflicting a 5-0 thrashing, and Porto had no problems. It seemed they could at least shoot against the Ukrainians, ending the first half 2-0. However, they made gross errors, allowing the opponent to score three times. Before the final whistle, Alderweireld missed a penalty shot wide. Now, they are 6 points behind the closest rivals, and even the chances of securing the 3rd place have become theoretical – they need to win both remaining matches and hope for the competitor's misfortune.
This fall, the clubs played against each other for the first time. Miners impressed against Barcelona, while the Belgians haven't shone. So, we bet that the nominal hosts will secure a victory.
Prediction for the match: Shakhtar Donetsk to win.