1st leg: Wolfsburg 1-2 Shakhtar
NB: This game will not be played in Shakhtar's home ground, it will be played in the Olympic Complex in Kyiv (Ukraine)
- Shakhtar are no strangers to this stage of the competition and will have high ambitions for this tournament after a strong 1st leg in Germany.
- The Miners have performed reasonably well in Europe this season, they took on two of Europe's best attacking sides and took points off both (Atalanta and Man City) so should feel reasonably confident of progressing here
- If we ignore Man City's and Atalanta's wins this season, the last team to come here and win (in normal time) was Real Madrid back in 2015 (3-4)
- Traditionally, Shakhtar tend to only falter in Ukraine against top opposition. Wolfsburg are not that
- Shakhtar's league wrapped up around 3 weeks ago so they should be slightly fresher than the Germans who wrapped up earlier (6 weeks ago)
- In terms of team news the Ukrainians are far better off than the Germans.
- Ismaily (LB) is the only starter missing and they have adequate cover with Serhiy Bolbat and Cipriano who have both featured a lot at LB this season
- Shakhtar have scored 2+ goals in 6 of their 9 European games this season. The exceptions were Atalanta and both games against Man City
- We'll dive into the team news first, The Wolves have two key starters missing. Renato Steffen (RW) is suspended and Kevin Mbabu (RB) has COVID. Both of these players contribute massively to Wolfsburg's overall team xG per 90 and goals per 90.
- With Steffen on the pitch Wolfsburg average 1.56xG per 90 (highest of all players with 1000+ mins) Mbabu ranks 3rd in that category with 1.54xG generated with the Swiss international on the pitch.
- Elsewhere they will be without Admir Mehmedi, Paulo Otávio, Camacho and William
- Wolfsburg were pretty poor since the restart with just 4 wins from 9 games. With the exception of the Leverkusen result all their wins came against bottom half opposition (Augsburg, Werder, and Schalke)
- They also struggled to keep goals out with just one clean sheet from those 9 games (vs Werder)
Final word: Wolfsburg haven't played competitively in almost 6 weeks and I feel if things don't go right for them quick their heads will drop and Shakhtar will capitalise.
Shakhtar Over 1.5 team goals at 2.05 with Pinnacle - 1.5 units