Bohdan Mykhailichenko (83)
Ukrainian Premier League
1 - 0
Sunday, March 15, 2020 2:00 PM
March 15, Zaporizhia, Slavutych-Arena, 14:00
Live broadcast on the UNIAN
Before the match
The decisive league phase is kicking off. According to the results of the first stage, Shakhtar scored 59 points. The Orange-and-Blacks are 14 points clear of their closest pursuers - twice as many as in both previous seasons (6/7/14). The team secured the same edge before the second stage in the 2016/17 season. In the current format, the tournament has been held for four years now, with the Miners scoring a record number of goals in 22 rounds (59) under Luis Castro.
In the middle of the week, Taras Stepanenko underwent knee surgery - preliminarily, he will need about a month to recover. Manor Solomon has not returned to the pitch after an injury. Ismaily is also injured. Marcos Antonio has been suspended.
However, Shakhtar have been coping with any personnel issues and their tight schedule without any losses. Having defeated Dnipro-1 (4-1), the Orange-and-Blacks showed character in the match against Kolos (4-3), then they flew to Germany and claimed a positive result in the Europa League Round of 16 first leg vs Wolfsburg (2-1). The return match, which was supposed to take place next Thursday in Kharkiv, has been postponed indefinitely, so the encounter with Zorya will complete the intense period of 2 games a week.
Viktor Skrypnyk enjoys a great first season at the helm of Zorya. The Luhansk side have been competing with Dynamo for silver and, together with the Kyiv outfit, do not abandon their attempts to get closer to Shakhtar. The team won all 3 of their games after the winter break: vs Mariupol (2-1), vs Olimpik (1-0), and vs Lviv (2-0). However, in the last round, their successful run was interrupted - another competitor Desna defeated them through a goal by Filippov.
In the previous meeting, Lynyov earned a straight red card after coming on for Yurchenko in the first half. Maksym will miss the match vs Shakhtar. And Tymchyk, who has already served the suspension, on the contrary, will be able to benefit Zorya.
The Luhansk team proved stronger in 13 matches, along with 4 draws and 5 defeats. Before the round, Skrypnyk’s men are 2 points adrift of Dynamo, 1 point clear of Desna, and 6 points clear of Oleksandriia. Bohdan Lednyov is among the top 3 UPL scorers with 11 points.
In 42 matches, Shakhtar have 36 wins, 1 draw, and 5 defeats; they netted 106 goals and conceded 28 goals. In those games, when Zorya were the nominal hosts, no draws were registered (19/2).
Previous league meeting
The December match in Zaporizhia was the last one for the teams in 2019. Before the break, both sides had some great chances, but Pyatov coped with the attempts of Kocherhin, Lednyov, and Tymchyk, with Moraes shooting wide right into Makharadze. Junior scored in the 54th minute: he handled the ball after a set-piece and planted it right inside the far corner. Then, Zorya’s top scorer Lednyov equalized. And the decider was netted by Marlos as a result of the spot-kick awarded for Makharadze’s foul on Tete - 2-1 in favour of the champions.
Zorya Vs. Shakhtar history
Ukrainian Premier League
Referee: Anatoliy Abdula