11th of December 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
There's only one qualifying place left in UEFA Champions League Group F, and it's only Shakhtar Donetsk and Lyon that can grab it. The two teams will meet at OSC Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv on Wednesday evening to decide which of them will advance to the next stage. The reverse fixture was a spectacular one, it ended 2-2 and Lyon fought back from 2-0 down. Striker Junior Moraes had put Shakhtar ahead with a double, but Moussa Dembele and Leo Dubois scored to make it all square. That was the first competitive match between these two teams.
Shakhtar Donetsk have battled bravely against the odds in this Champions League group, they started with draws at home against Hoffenheim and away at Lyon, then lost both matches against leaders Manchester City, and eventually secured a spectacular 3-2 victory at Hoffenheim. That result gives them the right to hope, they are just two points behind second-placed Lyon and that means they would qualify in case of a victory on Wednesday evening. Fernando is the only injury concern for the home side, who have a comfortable lead at the top of the Ukrainian league table.
Lyon have been quite impressive in the Champions League this season, they even started with one of the biggest surprises of the tournament when they won 2-1 against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. After that they recorded four consecutive draws, and that leaves them in a vulnerable position ahead of the final round of matches. Last week they lost 2-0 at home against Rennes in Ligue 1, a result which leaves them in fourth place. Amine Gouiri is injured and won't be available for Wednesday's match, but the squad should be well-rested after their weekend match in Ligue 1 was postponed.
Shakhtar: Pyatov - Matvyenko, Krivtsov, Rakitskiy, Ismaily - Maycon, Stepanenko - Marlon, Taison, Bolbat - Moraes
Lyon: Lopes - Tete, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy - Tousart, Aouar - Traore, Fekir, Terrier - Depay
My prediction: 1-1 draw, Lyon are the draw specialists in this group and they should be able to secure one when it matters the most.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Shakhtar win - 2.30
Draw - 3.90
Lyon win - 3.00
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10th of December 2018
11th of December 2018
It's funny when you look at the final standings in this group that Lyon team manged to win just one game (and that's against the top favorite City side too), drew in 5 but that was enough for them to be qualified.
In all honesty I think the French side deserved their spot after not loosing against the leader in the group.
Shakhtar could only blame themselves after having a great chance being at home in the last one but obviously that wasn't enough for them to make the progress.
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