Shakhtar Donetsk vs Rapid Vienna Preview and Prediction – 25/08/2015
Champions League preview – Shakhtar Donetsk vs Rapid Vienna prediction
Shakhtar’s defensive midfielder Stepanenko was released from hospital without serious injury after clashing with Vienna’s Grahovac and injuring his head. Despite nobody saying he will or won’t start, I feel he will in a game of this importance. The talented front quartet of Taison, Teixeira, Marlos and Gladkiy is likely to start once again in order to provide the firepower they need.
New injury problems have arisen for Rapid Vienna as left back Stefan Stangl is expected to be out until September, and Maximilian Hofmann sustained a sprained ankle this week which could see him sidelined. Stefan Schwab will return to the squad after serving a two match ban which will be a relief for the Vienna midfield. If forward Robert Berič can continue to score goals Vienna will be in with a shot of causing another upset in this Qualification stage.
Shakhtar Donetsk: 4-2-3-1 formation: Pyatov; Srna, Rakitskiy, Ordets, Shevchuk; Stepanenko, Fred; Taison, Alex Teixeira, Marlos; Gladkiy
Rapid Vienna: 4-2-3-1 formation: Novota; Auer, Sonnleitner, Dibon, Schimpelsberger; Grahovac, Schwab; Schobesberger, S. Hofmann, Kainz; Berič
- Shakhtar Donetsk have won 7, drawn 2 and lost 1 of their last 10 matches
- Rapid Vienna have won 7, drawn 2 and lost 1 of their last 10 matches
- Over the course of their previous 10 matches, Shakhtar Donetsk have scored an average of 1.9 goals and conceded an average of 0.5 goals per game
- Over the course of their previous 10 matches, Rapid Vienna have scored an average of 2.7 goals and conceded an average of 1.2 goals per game
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 4 of Shakhtar Donetsk’s previous 10 matches
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 9 of Rapid Vienna’s previous 10 matches
- Shakhtar secured an impressive 1-0 victory in the reverse leg last week. They will hope to continue their streak of five successive appearances in the Champions League group stages
With the exception of a couple of games Shakhtar have looked very comfortable in defence over the last ten games, and with a 100% record against Austrian teams at home, a win seems a very distinct possibility for the Ukrainian side.
Vienna will be looking to repeat their heroics that saw them defeat Ajax in the last round against the odds. Their record in Ukraine is not hopeful however, and having lost the home leg I don’t think they will be able to overturn the deficit.
Shakhtar have carried out the most difficult part in earning themselves an away win, and it’s likely that they will set up to avoid being hit on the counter. Shakhtar would take a draw in this game.
What are your predictions?