Shakhtar Donetsk – Hoffenheim
Let’s head our attention to Group F of the UEFA Champions League, where Shakhtar Donetsk are hosting Hoffenheim in the city of Kharkiv. Let’s take a look.
It’s anything really surprising that Shakhtar are once again part of the Champions League. The Ukrainian giants are a regular participant in the competition and usually they are doing pretty fine in it. The goal in front of them is always the same – taking one of the first two spots in the group and qualifying for the 1/8-finals.
Also it’s not a surprise that Shakhtar are dominating the Ukrainian Premier League since the start of the season. Paulo Fonseca’s team is leading the standings with 21 points won from 8 games played. Right now they have a healthy 5 points advantage in front of the 2nd Oelksandria. Shakhtar are once again the number one favourite for the title in Ukraine.
Last season Hoffenheim didn’t have the luck to reach the Champions League group stage, but now the German team is once again part of the competition. Led by the incredibly young Julian Nagelsmann, last season Hoffe finished among the first four teams in the Bundesliga and won a place in the Champions League.
But Hoffe didn’t start the new campaign in the most positive way. Nagelsmann’s boys won just 3 points from the first three games, winning against Freiburg and losing against Bayern Munich and Fortuna Dusseldorf. Right now they are 11th in the league standings and no doubt they will aim to improve their current form.
This is an interesting clash between two teams who look very balanced in terms of quality. It’s always very difficult to play in Ukraine, so Shakhtar will have a really strong advantage because of this. But you shall never underrestimate a German team, of course.