Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb will face off at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv to tighten their grip on second spot in Group C of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Both the teams had identical results in their respective opening two games, beating Atalanta and losing to Manchester City, who are favorites to top the group. However, the Croatian side is placed second due to a superior goal difference.
Thus, the upcoming two games are effectively deciders to figure which team will very likely progress to the Champions League knockouts along with Pep Guardiola’s side as the latter is the outright favorite to win the group.
On the other hand, the loser of these two games could get into a battle with Atalanta for finishing third, as they will gain entry into the Europa League round of 32 after the group stage.
Thus both teams can be expected to absolutely go for it, promising a good spectacle for the fans and the neutrals.
In terms of team news, Luis Santos has a fully-fit squad and can be expected to name his strongest XI for the home fixture. The same is true for Nenad Bjelica as well as he has everyone available barring Lovro Majer.
These two sides met 5 times this century, with Shakhtar winning three to Zagreb’s one.
Recent Form and Shakhtar Donetsk vs Dinamo Zagreb Betting Tips
Looking at recent form, the Hirnyky have won all of their 11 league games so far, scoring 36 goals and conceding just 6. They prepared for this game with a 6-0 win against Kolos on Friday.
Their visitors are in good form as well, warming up for this game with a 4-2 win against HNK Gorica over the weekend. The Modri are table toppers as well, leading the Prva HNL after 11 games, although the top 4 are separated by just 5 points.
Looking at European form, Shakhtar has failed to register a clean sheet in their last 18 Champions League games, something Zagreb will look to continue. Further, the Ukrainian side is winless in their last 4 UCL home games, adding to their struggles.
However, Santos’s side is on a five-game winning run at the moment with 4 clean sheets in that period. Their last loss came against Manchester City, a fate shared by their visitors as well. Zagreb is unbeaten in their last 3 games and lost just once in their last 6.
Thus, one can expect an exciting attacking contest between the two with both teams sharing the spoils in a high-scoring draw in the end.
Shakhtar Donetsk Predicted XI: Pyatov; Dodo, Bondar, Matviyenko, Ismaily; Kovalenko, Stepanenko; Marlos, Taison, Konoplyanka; Moraes
Dinamo Zagreb Predicted XI: Livakovic; Theophile-Catherine, Dilaver, Peric; Hajrovic, Moro, Ademi, Leovic; Orsic, Petkovic, Olmo