Europa League: Shakhtar opponents
Friday, August 26, 2016
On August 26, the draw of the Europa League 2016/17 group stage took place in Monaco
Based on its results Shakhtar Donetsk will play in group H. The Pitmen's opponents will be Braga (Potugal), Ghent(Belgium), and Konyaspor (Turkey).
Fixtures: Septemeber 15, September 29, October 20, November 3, November 24, and December 8.
The Orange-and-Blacks encounter with the Portuguese is the highlight of group H. Paulo Fonseca will lead Shakhtar in the matches against his former club. The Donetsk club have played with Braga twice in European club competitions, last time just this spring in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. In total, all four games against these opponents ended in the Pitmen's win.
Braga were founded in 1921. In 1996. Os Arsenalistas won the Portuguese Cup and in 2013 - the Portuguese League Cup. In the local Premier League the club's greatest achievement is silver in the 2009/10 season.
Braga finished 4th in the last season of the Premier League and qualified for the Europa League directly. The team are headed by 56-year-old Portuguese Jose Pezeyru, who led Sporting in the UEFA Cup final in his time.
The Belgian club were founded in 1864 (the football team in 1900). Ghent are three-time winner of the national Cup (1964, 1984 and 2010). In recent past, they have achieved the most spectacular success in their history becoming champions in the 2014/15 season.
Ghent is headed by 52-year-old Hein Vanhazebruk. Last season, the team finished third in the standings under his leadership. In the Europa League 2016/17 play-offs Gent beat Macedonian Shkendija 6-1 on aggregate, and in the previous round confidently took care of the Romanian Viitorul (5-0 on aggregate).
Interestingly, on June 29 this year Shakhtar and K.A.A. Gent met during the training camp in the Netherlands while preparing for the season. The Orange-and-Blacks won 2-0 thanks to goals by Ferreyra and Dentinho. But it should be noted that the duel involved Ghent's reserve team headed by Bart van Renterghem.
Konyaspor were founded in 1922, and in 1981 underwent restructuring, which is reflected in its modern logo. Since then, the players appear in white and green kits.
The club represent a major Turkish city of Konya and hold their matches at the modern Torku Arena which opened in 2014 and has a seating capacity of 42,000.
In the Turkish Super League 2015/16, Konyaspor finished seven points ahead of Istanbul Basaksehir and came 3rd, which allow them to start in the Europa League without qualifying rounds. This is the best result in the history of the club.
The White-and-Greens are headed by 51-year-old Turk Aykut Kocaman. When he was a player, he became Fenerbahce top scorer in the history of the League, and in 2011 won the League with the Istanbul's top team as a coach. He has been working in Konyaspor since 2014.