U21. Shakhtar vs Metalist: preview
In the 20th round of the Ukrainian Championship among U21 teams, Shakhtar will play at home against Metalist Kharkiv. We bring you the match preview.
April 1, Schaslyve, Knyazha training facility (synthetic pitch), 13:00
The U21 league leaders, Shakhtar U21 team, are to play their next challenging match - against th fourth-spot Metalist having 35 points. The Pitmen continue to top the table (47 points), being ahead of Dynamo and Dnipro two and six points respectively. It is noteworthy that the Metalist U21 team approach the meeting with Shakhtar with an impressive streak of seven consecutive wins. In the spring part of the league season, the charges of Oleksandr Prizetko claimed home wins at Volyn (4-1) and Vorskla (3-2), also having thrashed Hoverla away (4-0). In the 19 matches of the season, the Kharkiv team netted 43 goals, being the second best result in the current championship after Dynamo.
Before the match
The team of Miguel Cardoso in the spring part of the season managed to play only two matches. Both of them proved tough: both the home win at Vorskla (2-1), and drawing away vs Dnipro (0-0). In the last round, the Pitmen wee to take on Metalurh according to the fixture calendar, however the Zapororizhya team withdrew from the championship, and Donetsk got three points without playing. Shakhtar’s break between the competitive games was almost three weeks. The Pitmen filled the break with friendly games. Besides, many players were called up to various junior national teams of Ukraine and rejoined the team just recently. There have been no suspensions in Shakhtar and in the Kharkiv side as of now.
Referee - Serhiy Dan’kovskyi (Kyiv)
Assistants - Valentyn Kutsev, Oleksandr Marchik (both from Kyiv)
Fourth official – Mykola Kryvonosov (Kyiv)
Referee observer - Valeriy Avdysh (Zhytomyr)
In the first round game, Shakhtar beat claimed a 2-1 away win over Kharkiv, and that victory was the seventh in a row for the Pitmen from the league season start. But in fact, the visitors found it tough: before the break the rivals exchanged goals, and midway through the second half the Donetsk side got short-handed due to the suspension of Oleksandr Zubkov after the second booking. Shortly afterwards, however, Andriy Boryachuk put his team in front, grabbing a brace. In the past league season, Boryachuk also scored in the away match against Metalist, doubling Shakhtar’s lead before the break, however, Kharkiv able managed to save the game in the end (2-2). In the home game in Poltava, the charges of Miguel Cardoso won 1-0.
The leader among the youth league scorers (18 goals), Shakhtar forward Andriy Boryachuk has not netted any goals in the spring part of the championship yet. At the same time, the midfielder of Metalist Vladyslav Krayev scored five times in the last three games.
The match will take place on the field with synthetic cover. In all five matches of the season on the synthetic pitch, Shakhtar claimed victories (including two home wins in Schaslyve).
In the current season, Metalist nicked points off the chasing Pitmen: they drew 1-1 away with Dynamo and claimed a 3-1 home win at Dnipro.
The teams’ encounter will be officiated by the FIFA referee Serhiy Dankovskyi, who in the 2009/10 season refereed both U21 games between Shakhtar and Metalist. In Kharkiv, they tied 1-1, and in Donetsk the Pitmen won 4-0, staying with ten men in both games.