U21. Shakhtar vs Stal: match preview
This coming Friday, in the U21 Ukrainian League Round 8, the Pitmen are to receive Dniprodzerzhynsk-based Stal. We bring you the match preview below.
September 18, Shaslyve, Knyazha Arena stadium, 16:00
After seven rounds, the team of Miguel Cardoso are confidently topping the league table, showcasing the best result. This said, the Pitmen scored the most goals (19) and conceded the least goals (3). The last season champions - Dnipro reserve team - are six points adrift of Shakhtar, and the Pitmen’s current opponents - Stal Dniprodzerzhynsk - retains the third spot, having claimed 14 points.
Serhiy Shyshchenko’s charges cannot be called debutants, because the core of the team includes the players of the disbanded Metalurh U21 (Donetsk). Stal suffered the only defeat at the hands of Oleksandriya, beating Vorskla 1-0 at home in the previous round. Shakhtar reserves claimed their seventh win of the season at Metalist away (2-1), scoring the winner with ten men.
Referee - Oleksandr Derdo (Illichivsk)
Assistant referees - Valentyn Kutsev, Yevhen Petrakov (both from Kyiv)
Fourth official - Aleksiy Derevynskyi (Kyiv)
Referee observer - Oleksandr Kran (Kharkiv)
Shakhtar U21 forward Andriy Boryachuk tops the league scorers list. After scoring a brace against , he boasts 10 goals with the goal-scoring streak of six consecutive games. The representative of Dnipro Denys Balanyuk has notches three goals less than Boryachuk. Midfielder of Shakhtar U21 team Oleksandr Zubkov will not play in the match against Stal due to suspension (sending-off in the game vs Metalist). Boryachuk and Zubkov, as well as the first-team defender Mykola Matviyenko (six apps in the U21 league) took part in Tuesday's UEFA Youth League game, in which Shakhtar U19 suffered a 0-4 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid.
Over the 12 years of the U21 Ukrainian League, Shakhtar and Stal are meeting for the first time ever. Nevertheless, the sides’ coaches Miguel Cardoso and Serhiy Shyshchenko have met before. Last season, the Pitmen beat the reserve team of Metalurh Donetsk in Bucha (1-0), and in the second round match at the training base Poltava they were tied (1-1). Shyshchenko’s team finished the past league season in the 11th spot.