BETTING & MATCH PREVIEW
On Tuesday night, Shakhtar Donetsk faces Basel at the Veltins Arena in the last eight of the Europa League.
The Ukrainian giants dropped out of the Champions League from a group also involving Atalanta, Dinamo Zagreb and Manchester City. Since their elimination, Luis Castro’s team has seen off Benfica and in the last round Wolfsburg.
Shakhtar have been prolific in this competition this season, scoring at least two goals in all their four matches, including a 3-0 hammering of Wolfsburg last time out. Veteran striker Junior Moraes was the hero for Shakhtar in the last-16, scoring three goals over the two games against the German team. Before this season’s good form in the Europa League, the
Ukrainian team had failed to win in their previous three games in the competition.
These teams have played each other five times in recent years, with Shakhtar winning all five meetings.
Like their opponents, Basel started the campaign in the Champions League. However, the Swiss side failed to make the group stages of the competition. Marcelo Koller’s team have enjoyed much better fortunes in the Europa League, though, winning eight of their ten games this season.
Basel eliminated Eintracht Frankfurt in the last 16, beating the Bundesliga team 4-0 on aggregate. They had also beaten APOEL 4-0 on aggregate in the last 32. Shakhtar are arguably the best team that Basel have faced this season in the competition, though.
Koller’s team have built their Europa League progress on good defensive foundations, as they have kept clean sheets in their previous five matches.
Shakhtar could be without Vyacheslav Tankovskyi, Maksym Malyshev, Vladyslav Vakula and Ismaily due to injury.
Basel look set to be without Luca Zuffi, Ramires, Jonas Omlin and Edon Zhegrova through injury.
These two teams are well-matched, but we are predicting that Shakhtar will just edge it to book their place in the Europa League semi-finals.
PREDICTION – HOME WIN
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Odds correct at time of publication – please check with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.