Shakhtar vs Rapid: preview

In the second leg of the Champions League play-offs, Shakhtar are to take on Rapid in Lviv. We bring you the meeting preview.

August 25, Lviv, Arena Lviv, 21:45
To be televised live on Ukraina and Futbol 1 channels

In Vienna, owing to the precision goal by Marlos, Rapid suffered their first defeat in the 2015/16 season at the hands of Shakhtar. However, this meeting was just a first meeting of the sides’ two-legged tie. The main and obvious goal of Zoran Barisic’s charges in the return game will be scoring an away goal. The vice-champions of Austria need to win. In the final match for the group stage berth, the price of a goal is topmost. And only the game itself will reveal how open and risky will be the football to be played by the teams, given the result of the first leg.

Match officials

Referee - Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Assistant referees - Pawel Sokolnicki, Tomasz Listkiewicz (both - Poland)
Additional assistant referees - Pawel Raczkowski, Tomasz Musial (both - Poland)
Fourth official - Radoslav Seika (Poland)
Referee observer - Michael Riley (England)

Personnel

Following his suspension, the midfielder Stefan Schwab is ready to help his team. It is noteworthy that in the last game of the Austrian League, before the meeting with Shakhtar, Zoran Barisic reshuffled the team squad. Of the players to have appeared in the Green-and-Whites’ starting lineup in the encounter in Vienna, he fielded Mario Sonnleitner, Stephan Auer and Srdjan Grahovac.

Because of the injury, Thomas Schrammel is out for long, but that’s not new for Rapid’s coaching staff. This season, the defender managed to play only two games. Stefan Stangl also has an injury. Meanwhile, midfielder of Shakhtar Taras Stepanenko works in the general group - the possibility of his participation will be checked by Mircea Lucescu just before the match.

Teams’ average scoring performance in the 2015-16 Champions League campaign:

Shakhtar - 1.33 goals per game;
Rapid - 1.66 goals per game.

Teams’ previous meeting:

UEFA Champions League 2015-16. Play-offs. First leg
August 19, 2015. Vienna. Ernst Happel Stadium. 18C. Att: 46,400

Rapid (Vienna, Austria) 0-1 (0-1) Shakhtar (Donetsk, Ukraine)

Goal: Marlos (44)

Rapid: Novota, Pavelic, Sonnleitner, Dibon, Auer, Petsos, Grahovac, Schaub, S. Hofmann (c), (Alar, 84), Kainz (Shobesberger, 80), Beric (Prozenik 90)
Substitutes: Shtrebinger, M. Hofmann, Shimpelsberger, Huzpek
Head coach: Zoran Barisic

Shakhtar: Pyatov, Srna (c), Kucher, Rakytskyy, Azevedo, Stepanenko (Malyshev, 46), Fred, Marlos (Eduardo, 80), Teixeira, Taison (Bernard, 86), Gladkyy
Substitutes: Kanibolotskyy, Shevchuk, Kryvtsov, Kovalenko
Head coach: Mircea Lucescu

Booked: Beric (7), Auer (27), Dibon (30), Stepanenko (39), Srna (39), Gladkyy (40), Kainz (59), Fred (67)
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)

It was a hard match for both teams and their fans. The game kept the latter in suspense from the first minute until the final whistle, with the players literally fighting on the pitch. A great number of collisions, yellow cards and injuries - it might be the description of the first meeting between Shakhtar and Rapid in Vienna.

However, the main thing for the Orange-Blacks happened at the end of the first half. After Andriy Pyatov rescued his side, Shakhtar managed to produce a prolific attack just before the break. On 44 minutes, Rakits’kyy received Taison’s pass and delivered it into the box, with Marlos taking the ball, making it past the defender and hitting the far corner – 0-1. An away goal is an important foundation for Shakhtar after the first game, but Rapid showed by their aggressive performance all their dangers and focus on the result. The return leg promises to be no less tense.

Let us remind you that Shakhtar vs Rapid match kicks off in Lviv at 21:45 on August 25. Tickets for the game are on sale now.

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