Shakhtar v Zirka: match preview
Thursday, July 21, 2016
In the 1st round of the league the Pitmen will play against Zirka. We offer you a preview of the match
July 22, Lviv, Arena Lviv, 7:00 p.m.
Live broadcast on Futbol 1 TV channel
Before the match
Shakhtar and Zirka championship opener will take place on Friday. Please note, that the tournament will be held in the new format. The first stage involves two rounds of 22 games with two groups of six teams based on the results. The first one will determine the champion, runners-up and participants of the European tournaments, while the second one will be fighting to remain in the Premier League.
On the eve of the Shakhtar opening game the team held an open training session. Talking to journalists, head coach Paulo Fonseca noted he is expecting a difficult match. The Pitmen's leader stressed that the starting line-up will be very similar to the one in the Super Cup, except for one or two possible changes.
Shakhtar footballers have the right mindset before the start of the championship. Read interviews with Darijo Srna, Taras Stepanenko and Bernard.
Referee - Yevhen Aranovskyi (Kyiv)
Assistant referees - Mykola Levko (Chernivtsi), Andrii Motyka (Ternopil)
Fourth official - Yurii Hrysio (Lviv)
Referee observer - Andrii Shandor (Lviv)
Zirka confidently won the First League in the 2015/16 season. The players of head coach Serhii Lavrynenko beat their nearest opponents Dnipro Cherkassy by 10 points.
Zirka's top scorers were Borys Baranets, Oleksii Chichikov and Roman Loktionov (7 goals each). First left the team at the end of the season, and the other two continue playing.
The teams had 12 matches in the Premier League with 10 won by Shakhtar, 1 by Zirka, and one draw. Goal difference constitutes 25-9.
6 matches took place at Shakhtar's home arena with 5 won by the Pitmen and 1 by Zirka. Goal difference constitutes 12-5.
Previous league encounter
The opponents met 12 years ago, on May 9, 2004 at the Donetsk RSK Olimpyiskyi. In the 24th round of the national championship, the Orange and Black confidently beat Zirka 3-0. The home victory was started by Aghahowa in the first half and strengthened after half-time thanks to goals by Lewandowski and Tymoshchuk.
6-2 - the Pitmen's biggest score against Zirka (1999/2000 season).
Games at Shakhtar's home pitch never ended in a draw.
Valeriy Yaremchenko led Shakhtar against Zirka more than any other head coach - 5 times.
Predict the score of the Shakhtar v Zirka in our Guess the Score game. Based on July-August results the winner will receive a Pitmen's jersey and runners-up will get great gifts from the club and the Nike company.