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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: SHAKHTAR DONETSK V CHELSEA

Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton resume their extensive preparations for tonight's game...

TACTICAL BRIEF
Key battles
John Terry's ban does not extend beyond domestic games so he is available to play tonight. Following a home draw with Juventus on Matchday One, the reigning champions will hope to garner at least a point to add to the four accrued so far. Given the possible tightness of Group E, head-to-head results with Shakhtar may prove significant.

Roberto Di Matteo's side will be very confident after Saturday's derby win over Spurs, especially as it required considerable character to recover from a 1-2 deficit to win by two clear goals. It was the third match in a row in which the Blues have hit four goals. Chelsea arrive having scored 20 goals in five games in all competitions.

The Ukrainians are in great form too, unbeaten in 28 matches and having drawn only two of those. They will be slightly the fresher team as their league win over Ilyichivets Mariupol took place on Friday evening.

Mircea Lucescu's side play a possession game and boast the attacking prowess of Willian Da Silva, occasional target man Luiz Adriano and deep-lying forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is a big threat inside the area.

The Armenian Mkhitaryan is in prolific form in the Ukrainian Premier League - 14 strikes in 12 matches - and hit both goals against early Group E strugglers Norsdjaelland to register his club's first home Champions League win since March 2011. Last season at the Donbass the Miners drew with APOEL Nicosia (1-1) and Zenit St Petersburg (2-2) and lost to Porto (0-2).

Both sides generally set themselves out in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with one central midfielder playing deeper than the other. In Shakhtar's case, Fernandinho is more of the playmaker while experienced Czech Tomáš Hübschman protects the back four.

Hübschman figured for Sparta Prague in both matches against Chelsea in 2003 (pictured below), a win and a draw for the Londoners. He tends to patrol his central patch quite rigidly and doesn't like to cover wide areas.

Hübschman


His equivalent on the Blues' side, Mikel, is a more liberated player this season. His strength and shielding ability remain, but once criticised for favouring the simple, safe pass, he is now responsible for positive, penetrative distribution to the fluid attacking midfielders. He has also honed the ability to regulate the tempo of the game.

(The Edward Newton coaching influence is also obvious in the Nigerian's perfection of what fans dubbed the 'Eddie turn'.)

Shakhtar's biggest offensive threat is also their Achilles heel. Darijo Srna is a storming right back, but is inclined to concede set-plays too readily at the back, and along with left-back Răzvan Raţ can also leave gaps in defence that Chelsea will readily exploit.

In the 1-1 draw at Juventus, the better side, Shakhtar, were repeatedly exposed down the flanks, whereas their own chances came from diagonal passes towards the edge of the Old Lady's box for Mkhitaryan, Alex Teixeira or the more distinctively coiffured fellow Brazilian, Willian Da Silva.

Willian plays as an inverted left-winger and loves to cut inside onto his right foot but is more inclined to pass than shoot, making him less predictable than some of his ilk. Former Arsenal forward Eduardo is not a regular starter.

Chelsea's two top scorers so far in this competition are the attacking midfielders Oscar and Juan Mata with two (only Real's Ronaldo, with four, has more). Daniel Sturridge has only seen 90 minutes of action so far this season, but the striker hit the net on his return from injury on Saturday.

No player has been ruled offside in this competition as many times as Fernando Torres. The Spaniard's all-round contribution this season has been excellent but he will be eager to open his Champions League account this evening.


Team news
Marko Marin remains out for a second game with a minor groin complaint so Roberto Di Matteo picks from the same squad as at Spurs. Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu reports all his players fit and healty.


Click on tabs above for more briefing.

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: SHAKHTAR DONETSK V CHELSEA

CHELSEA STATS
The Blues have topped our group in seven of our last nine Champions League campaigns. We have never failed to progress to the knockout stage.

Chelsea have won eight and lost five of our last 20 away games in the Champions League. Last term we failed to win any of our away group matches having taken the lead in all three. We achieved draws at Valencia and Genk and fell to a last-minute winner at Bayer Leverkusen.

We have scored in our last 16 Champions League matches since we lost 0-1 to Man Utd in 2010/11 quarter-final at Stamford Bridge.


Chelsea's last ten years in Europe
2002/03 - UEFA Cup - first round
2003/04 - Champions League - semi-final
2004/05 - Champions League - semi-final
2005/06 - Champions League - round of 16
2006/07 - Champions League - semi-final
2007/08 - Champions League - runners-up
2008/09 - Champions League - semi-final
2009/10 - Champions League - round of 16
2010/11 - Champions League - quarter-final
2011/12 - Champions League - winners



Last six results
Sep 22 Stoke (h) W 1-0
Sep 25 Wolves (League Cup h) W 6-0
Sep 29 Arsenal (a) W 2-1
Oct 2 FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League a) W 4-0
Oct 6 Norwich (h) W 4-1
Oct 20 Tottenham (a) W 4-2

 

Scorers Mata 6, Torres 6, Cahill 4, Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Bertrand 2, Hazard 2 (1 pen), Oscar 2, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Moses 1, Ramires 1, Romeu 1 (pen), Sturridge 1. Total 34.


Chelsea's next three games
Sun 28 Oct Manchester United home 4pm
Wed 31 Oct Manchester United (LC) home 7.45pm
Sat 3 Nov Swansea City away 3pm

 

MILESTONES
John Terry needs one goal to reach 50 in all competitions for the Blues.

The Blues are looking for our 100th win in European competition in our 189th match.

If selected, Frank Lampard will make his 100th appearance in Europe for the Blues.


SHAKHTAR DONETSK STATS
Founded
1936.

Major honours
7 Ukraine league titles, last in 2012
4 Soviet Cups, last in 1983
8 Ukrainian Cups, last in 2012
1 Soviet Super Cup in 1984
4 Ukraine Super Cups, last in 2012
1 UEFA Cup in 2009


Shakhtar and Dynamo Kiev are the only two Ukrainian clubs to have won a European trophy.

Shakhtar's Champions League squad is made up of 14 Ukrainians, eight Brazilians, two Croats and one from Romania, Armenia and Czech Republic.

Romanian Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar's head coach, has won 15 major trophies since taking over in 2004.

This is the fourth time in five seasons Shakhtar have faced an English side. The most recent being when they beat Arsenal 2-1 at home in the 2010/11 group stage.

They have won three of their four games against English sides, all from London.

The win over FC Nordsjaelland on Matchday One ended a run of four home European games without a win. In Donetsk last season they drew with APOEL 1-1 and Zenit St Petersburg 2-2 before a 0-2 defeat by Porto ensured they finished bottom of the group.

The Donbass Arena has a capacity of just over 52,000. Their average in last season's championship season was 36,983.

Friday's victory against Illychivets Mariupil was Shakhtar's 21st successive top-flight victory which is a Ukrainian Premier League record.

They have achieved 13 successive home wins in all competitions since a Premier League draw against Dnipro in March. Their last home defeat was against Porto (0-2) last November in the Champions League group stage.

Their record in the Champions League is played 78, won 35, drawn 13, lost 30.


Shakhtar's home games against English teams in Europe
2000/01 Arsenal W 3-0 Champions League group stage
2008/09 Tottenham W 2-0 UEFA Cup round of 32, second leg
2009/10 Fulham D 1-1 Europa League round of 32, first leg
2010/11 Arsenal W 2-1 Champions League group stage

 

Last ten league seasons

Pos Level
2002/03 2nd 1
2003/04 2nd 1
2004/05 1st  1
2005/06 1st  1
2006/07 2nd 1
2007/08 1st 1
2008/09 2nd 1
2009/10 1st 1
2010/11 1st 1
2011/12 1st 1



Ten-year European record
2002/03 - UEFA Cup first round - having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2003/04 - UEFA Cup first round - having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2004/05 - UEFA Cup round of 16 - having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2005/06 - UEFA Cup round of 32 - having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2006/07 - UEFA Cup round of 16 - having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2007/08 - Champions League group stage
2008/09 - UEFA Cup winners - having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2009/10 - Europa League round of 32 - having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2010/11 - Champions League quarter-finals
2011/12 - Champions League group stage



Last six results
Sep 19 FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League h) W 2-0
Sep 23 Dynamo Kiev (Cup h) W 4-1
Sep 28 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (h) W 2-1
Oct 2 Juventus (Champions League a) D 1-1
Oct 7 Metalist Kharkiv (a) W 2-0
Oct 19 Illychivets Mariupil (h) W 2-1

 

Ukraine Premier League scorers
Mkhitaryan 14, Texeira 5, Ilsinho 4, Dević 3 (1 pen), Luiz Adriano 3, Kucher 2, Seleznyov 2, Dentinho 1, Fernandinho 1, Srna 1, Stepanenko 1, Willian 1. Total 38.

 

PMB

 

Ukraine Premier League top half

Pld Gd Pts
1 Shakhtar Donetsk 12 +32 36
2 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 12 +12 24
3 Dynamo Kiev 12 8 24
4 Mrtalist Kharkiv 12 +10 21
5 Arsenal Kiev 12 5 19
6 Metalurh Donetsk 12 +7 18
7 Zorya Luhansk 12 5 17
8 Illychivets Mariupil 12 +4 16



THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Damir Skomina, his two assistant referees and two additional assistant referees are all from Slovenia. Skomina officiated Chelsea's tense 2-1 semi-final victory over Benfica last season, awarding a penalty converted by Frank Lampard, and booking three Blues players and four from the Portuguese club, one of whom received a second caution. He was also the man in charge of Chelsea's 1-4 humbling in this season's UEFA Super Cup, during which he took Branislav Ivanovic's name again.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
There are no suspensions.

Champions League bookings list
Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards
Shakhtar Donetsk (4): Hübschman, Ilsinho, Luiz Adriano, Srna.
Chelsea (1): Ramires

 

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