Leverkusen vs Shakhtar
Leverkusen is coming from a 2:1 victory away from home against Hoffenheim in the previous Bundesliga match day last Friday. Visitors were very lucky with the way they got the victory, as the team looked rather passive during the game and have faced with many problems. They had no rhythm, weren't dangerous and had a great help of the referee who counted one goal that should have never been counted and was a great error of referees.
In any way, with this victory, team completed six consecutive matches without defeat, counting five victories and only one draw, as they remained competitive in comparison to leading duo from Bayern Munich and Dortmund. In the Champions League, on the other side, team counts loss away to Manchester United and victory over Real Sociedad and will surely be looking to get a victory here against Shakhtar, team that is their main rival for the second position in the group. Coach Sami Hyypia will be without defensive midfielder for the second consecutive game, Bender (7/1) and without substitute midfielder Mete Oztunali (no performance yet), while the coach might use Heung-Min from the first minute after being unused sub last Friday night.
Shakhtar Donetsk, on the other side, is coming from a 3:1 victory over Mariupol last Saturday in the latest round of Ukrainian championship. Home side got the lead in 38th minute, while the visitors struggled for a long period to get back on track, but finally managed in the second part of repetition, while the field conditions were terrible due rain and strong wind.
Since middle of September, when group stage of Champions League started, team of Mircea Lucescu remained undefeated in seven official games, with a run of five victories and two draws. They started Champions League campaign with a 2:0 victory away to Sociedad and a draw at home against Manchester United, while everything except a defeat today would make them more than strong candidates for top two positions in the group. Coach Lucescu faces no new injury problems and might line up unchanged team from the game against Mariupol last weekend.
Not only visitors should pose the same or very similar individual quality, if not better than the Germans, but they are also entering the match being much more relaxed as the tie suits them very well too. The Germans will have to search for three pointer which might leave too much of empty space for Ukrainian side that can be very dangerous on counters and with the variety of attacking options, they can easily snatch even all three points here.