Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma by Isaiah
After a very long break period and many friendly matches played where the players of Shakhtar Donetsk actually didn't impress at all, the side responded with much better performance in their first competitive game in the New Year, winning over Chernomorets Odessa 5:0 in the re-start of the Ukrainian Premier League last Friday evening.
It was an easy game for them in Kharkiv, as the side scored three goals in the first halftime once they upped the tempo, via Ferreyra in 20th and 41st minute and Marlos in 37th minute, sealing the victory later on thanks to another goal from Marlos in 52nd and a goal from Kovalenko in 90th minute.
They have dominated the whole game limiting the opponent to a very passive role, something that is usual case in their matches in the domestic league. The side is now leading the table with three points more than Dynamo Kiev, but also having played a game more as well, meaning that they are heading towards yet another two horses title race till the end of the season.
Home side will miss their right back and team captain Darijo Srna due suspension, while injured remains defensive midfielder Maksim Malyshev.
After a very ugly run from late in December during whole January where the side didn't win in seven consecutive competitive matches, Roma bounced back to winning ways and much better performances, getting three consecutive victories in Serie A now.
After they have won over Verona on the road and 5:2 at home over Benevento, the side responded with a good performance away to Udinese last Saturday afternoon as well, taking convincing 2:0 victory. They were better in both halftimes and completely deserved the victory, however scored goals only once they upped the tempo in the second halftime, via Under in 70th mnute and Perotti in last minutes of the clash.
They are now once again back to the third position at the table of Serie A, with the title race being gone for them since the side has sixteen points less than leaders from Napoli, but also just two more than fifth and Europa League placed Inter, so that's where their domestic focus will go in next months till they secure the new Champions League outing.
Visitors have right back Alessandro Florenzi (22/1) set as doubtful for this one, so Bruno Peres should take his place. Injured are midfielder Maxime Gonalons (7/0) and right back Rick Karsdorp (1/0).
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Shakhtar's last 4 games (UEFA Champions League).
Most likely the game will be highly tactical from both ends, as they both have a lot of at stake and can't rush into anything in the first leg. It seems that Roma is in the right momentum once again, but won't be having an easy task here. However, having more of the competitive form at the moment, but also individual quality I can't see them losing here and strongly believe they are closer to the victory, even though the draw can't be excluded.