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Profile: Shakhtar Donetsk

Thirteen Brazilians and a top marksman

Shakhtar Donetsk are an established force in European football. The Ukrainian club has clocked up 96 Champions League games to date - but have never played FC Bayern. That changes next year when the two sides meet in the Champions League Round of 16. One big advantage for Bayern: Shakhtar only play their first league game after the winter break on the final weekend in February so the game against FCB on 17 February will be the Ukrainians’ first competitive match in 2015. fcbayern.de profiles Bayern’s opponents Shakhtar Donetsk.

Thirteen Brazilians and a top marksman
Shakhtar Donetsk are an established force in European football. The Ukrainian club has clocked up 96 Champions League games to date - but have never played FC Bayern. That changes next year when the two sides meet in the Champions League Round of 16. One big advantage for Bayern: Shakhtar only play their first league game after the winter break on the final weekend in February so the game against FCB on 17 February will be the Ukrainians’ first competitive match in 2015. fcbayern.de profiles Bayern’s opponents Shakhtar Donetsk.

Record in UCL group stage
Shakhtar qualified for the Round of 16 on Matchday 5. However, the Ukrainian side were not particularly impressive as they only collected nine points from the six games to finish second behind FC Porto (14) in Group H. Donetsk did register two convincing wins against Borisov (7-0 and 5-0) but found it tough going against Athletic Bilbao (0-0 and 0-1) and Porto (2-2 and 1-1).

Domestic record
Shakhtar Donetsk have won the past five Ukrainian league titles. However, Dynamo Kyiv have thrown a spanner in the orange and black works this term: Shakhtar have already lost three games and lie second in the table, five points off the top after 14 of 26 league games.

Key players
Luiz Adriano! The Brazilian striker is the top marksman in the current Champions League campaign with nine goals - one ahead of Lionel Messi, so FCB will need to be on their toes, although Adriano did score eight of his nine goals in the games against BATE Borisov. Striker Oleksandr Gladkyy has scored the most goals in the domestic league (7). The Shakhtar captain is the Croat Dario Srna, but midfielder Taras Stepanenko is suspended for the first leg. And, last but not least, the Shakhtar squad includes 13 Brazilians.

Tactics
“The fans can look forward to these games,” said Pep Guardiola after Monday’s draw. Shakhtar Donetsk, like FC Bayern, are a side set up to attack. The Ukrainians have scored 15 goals in the Champions League this season, just one short of Bayern’s 16. Only Chelsea have found the back of the net more often with 17.

Stadium
As a result of the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, Shakhtar play their home games in Lviv, some 1,000 kilometres west of Donetsk on the Polish border. The stadium built for EURO 2012 has a capacity of 35,000. Germany’s wins against Portugal (1-0) and Denmark (2-1) in Lviv paved the way to the European Championship final in 2012.

Reaction in Donetsk to FC Bayern draw
Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar midfielder): “Bayern are the strongest club in Europe with great players. We’ve found it tough against German clubs before now. We played well at home against Dortmund two years ago but only managed to draw before we lost away.”

History / honours
Shakhtar Donetsk were founded in 1936. The club has won both the Ukraine league and the domestic cup competition nine times. Their biggest European success to date was winning the UEFA Cup in 2009 with a victory over Werder Bremen. The Ukrainians reached the Champions League quarter-finals in 2010/11 and were knocked out at the Round of 16 stage by Borussia Dortmund in 2012/13. They have never managed to progress further than the last eight.

Coach
Legendary Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu has been at Shakhtar Donetsk since 2004 and has led the club to eight league title triumphs. “He is one of the best coaches in Europe,” said Pep Guardiola, “I’m looking forward to meeting up with him again.” The 69-year-old managed Romania at the 1984 European Championship in France and played in the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico.

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