Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Manchester City travel to the Ukraine on Tuesday night where they face a very tricky Champions League match against the formidable Shaktar Donetsk side. On paper, this should be a fairly simple game for Pep Guardiola’s team to win, but as the Ukrainian team beat Manchester City at home in the 2017 Champions League tournament, it could go either way. Whilst Manchester City have performed well in this season’s Premier League and are currently top of the table, they stuttered in their opening Champions League game with a surprise 1-2 home loss against Lyon. In comparison, Shaktar Donetsk have drawn both of their Champions League matches 2-2 and so both sides will be keen to win their third match in the group stages. It’s important to note that Shakhtar Donetsk are unbeaten at home to English visitors, but with Kevin De Bruyne back in the Manchester City squad, it’s clear that anything could happen.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City Prediction: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester City
Manchester City are in rare goalscoring form at the moment. The team’s 5-0 demolition of Burnley on the weekend showed that there’s no shortage of players who can hit the back of the net, and with Kevin De Bruyne set to make an appearance for the first time in two months, we think that Pep Guardiola’s side should be able to grab at least one goal. But home advantage will count for a lot for the fiercely competitive Shakhtar Donetsk team, and so we think that strikers like their Brazilian star, Junior Moraes, might catch the Manchester City defence off-guard and get an equalising goal.
Our recommended tip: Aguero scores first
Sergio Aguero is widely tipped to be the Premier League Golden Boot winner this season, and it’s easy to see how he could add to his tally on Tuesday night. The Shakhtar Donetsk defence looked fairly leaky in their opening Champions League games against Hoffenheim and Lyon, and Aguero will be able to take advantage of any lapses in concentration. The Argentine star has scored in all but one of his last five matches, and with Pep Guardiola stating that he wants to treat this game like a final, we’re expecting Aguero to get in there early with that all-important opening goal.
All Manchester City fans will have fairly miserable memories of the last time that they played Shakhtar Donetsk. This saw the Ukrainian team winning 2-1 at home and it ended an unbeaten run of 29 games for Pep Guardiola’s side. Whilst Sergio Aguero was on hand to score a late consolation goal, Shakhtar Donetsk hit the ground running with Bernard and Ismaily both scoring in the first half. However, the previous game between the two teams saw Manchester City winning 2-0 at home with goals from Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne. All of which shows why this will be a keenly contested game.
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Players to watch: Sergio Aguero & Junior Moraes
All eyes will be on Sergio Aguero on Tuesday night as the Argentine star aims to continue his phenomenal goalscoring record. With plenty of assistance from Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and the all-important play-maker, Kevin De Bruyne, the centre-forward should have everything he needs to score his thirteenth goal of the 2018/19 season. Whilst Aguero has been troubled by a niggling foot injury, it’s expected that he will be in fine form against Shakhtar Donetsk.
But don’t forget that the Shakhtar Donetsk forward, Junior Moraes, is also very capable of scoring plenty of goals against some seriously tough defences. The 31-year old Brazilian star has managed to bag a very respectable 14 goals in the 2018/19 season, and he could easily take Manchester City by surprise. Moraes scored both goals in Shakhtar Donetsk’s 2-2 draw with Lyon, and he will be keen to score again in front of the home crowd.