When is Shakhtar v Man City?
Shakhtar v Man City will be shown exclusively live at 7.15pm (8pm kick-off) on Wednesday 18 September on BT Sport 3 HD on TV and across our digital platforms.
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Shakhtar v Man City: Match preview
Manchester City will renew their quest for a first ever Champions League trophy with a familiar trip to Shakhtar Donetsk.
The back-to-back Premier League winners will play Shakhtar for the third successive season, with Atalanta and Dinamo Zagreb completing Group C.
Pep Guardiola has not lifted European's football's most prestigious prize since 2011 and it remains the only honour he is yet to win since arriving as City manager in 2016.
During his first season in charge, Guardiola's men were ousted in the round of 16 by a talented Monaco team that contained future stars like Kylian Mbappe and current City players Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy.
Since then, City's last two Champions League exits have come at the hands of English opposition in equally heartbreaking circumstances.
In 2017/18, eventual finalists Liverpool dumped the Citizens out at the quarter-final stage as the Reds romped to a shock 5-1 aggregate win.
Last season, Guardiola suffered more quarter-final heartbreak when VAR intervened to deny his side a stoppage-time winner as Tottenham snuck through to the last four in one of the most thrilling knockout ties in recent memory.
Despite failing to make it past the last eight in any of the previous four seasons, City have been installed as pre-tournament favourites to win the competition this year and kick off their campaign with a trip to the Ukrainian champions.
With Group C made up of Champions League new-boys Atalanta and Dinamo Zagreb, Shakhtar are sure to provide the biggest challenge to City's safe passage to the last 16.
Donetsk typically represents a tricky away trip for most sides but City will have no fear having beaten the Ukranians by a combined score of 9-0 in their two group-stage games last season.
In fact, Shakhtar have conceded 12 goals in their previous four meetings with Man City, a tally second only to the Ukrainian side's porous defensive record against Barcelona.
Indeed, the Ukrainian giants have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 16 matches in the competition.
However, Shakhtar will welcome City on a high after an unbeaten start to their league campaign under new manager Luis Castro.
The hosts will take solace from two years ago when they recorded a shock 2-1 victory to end Manchester City's 29-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
City had been hoping to become the first British club to win all six of their group matches in one Champions League season, but instead suffered their first defeat since Arsenal beat them 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final on 23 April, 2017.
Since then however City have had the ascendancy in head-to-heads, with their last meeting ending in a 6-0 victory for the Citizens at the Etihad in what was their joint-biggest victory in the Champions League.
Shakhtar v Man City: Team news
Manchester City have been rocked by the news that John Stones has been ruled out with a muscle injury meaning Nicolas Otamendi is the only fit senior centre back available for the trip to Ukraine – Aymeric Laporte is out until the new year.
It means Fernandinho is likely to fill in at centre back against his former club while youngster Eric Garcia has travelled as back-up on the bench.
Leroy Sane is a long-term absentee with a cruciate ligament rupture sustained in the Community Shield back in August.
The hosts are without midfielders Andriy Totovytskyi, Maksym Malyshev and Maycon for the visit of the Premier League champions but, as always, boast a number of Brazilians in their squad with 12 imports currently at Luis Castro's disposal.
Among them are long-serving duo Marlos and Taison and veteran forward Junior Moraes, who scored twice in Shakhtar’s 4-3 victory at the weekend.
Shakhtar v Man City: The managers
Shakhtar boss Castro: [On Guardiola] ”I know what the whole world knows: he is one of the best coaches in the world working at one of the best clubs in the world, in the best league on the planet. His level? It's no secret to anyone - the highest a coach can have."
(On City's Ukrainian player Oleksandr Zinchenko): “He’s a player who performs very important functions for the team. Zinchenko is a fullback with very specific attributes. He is not responsible for the flank that often, getting more inside, also being one of those who helps to change the attacking flank.
“There’s Raheem Sterling before him, who links up when necessary, as well as David Silva and De Bruyne. He’s a very interesting football player and, of course, one of the top players in the world in his role. He has some great interplay with Sterling.”
Man City boss Guardiola: [On the crisis at centre back] “John got injured making a pass. [Now] it’s a big challenge. For me as a manager it is an incredible challenge.
"We’ve got just one [recognised] central defender in Otamendi but I believe a lot in something people don’t know, which is the spirit and commitment. Everyone must make a step forward to solve this problem we have.”
[On dealing with the issues] "We will go with them for the next few months. It is what it is; sometimes these situations happen.
"It has happened and what we are not going to do is complain.”
[On Fernandinho at centre back] “We don’t have many other options. He arrived back late [just before the season started] and he’s 34-years-old – that’s why he hasn’t played longer.
"He trained last week in the international break and it went well. With the experience he has [and his profile] as a team-mate and his personality, of course he can play in that position.
“Sometimes for tactical reasons he played there last season... It’s not a problem, it is a challenge; they [Fernandinho and City's other centre back options including Garcia] will do it, no problem."
Shakhtar v Man City: Head-to-head
This will be the fifth time the two teams have met in the group stages of the Champions League in the last three years.
|07/11/2018||Champions League||Man City 6-0 Shakthar|
|23/10/2018||Champions League||Shakhtar 0-3 Man City|
|06/12/2017||Champions League||Shakhtar 2-1 Man City|
|26/09/2017||Champions League||Man City 2-0 Shakhtar|
Shakhtar v Man City: Key stats
- This is the first time that two teams have been drawn in the same Champions League Group in three successive seasons since Real Madrid and Ajax were in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.
- City scored the most goals (30) and had the best shot conversion rate (17%) in the 2018-19 Champions League.
- This will be the ninth Champions League Group stage appearance for Shakhtar Donetsk since 2010/11, only not appearing in 2016/17 - in each of their last eight appearances they have alternated between successfully progressing past the Group Stage and being knocked out at this stage. If this run were to continue, they’d qualify for the Last 16 in 2019-20.
- Excluding own goals, 79 of Shakhtar’s 124 Champions League goals have been scored by Brazilian players (64%) – only Barcelona (85) have seen more goals scored by Brazilians than Shakhtar, with Braga (11/12 – 92%) the only team to have had a higher proportion of goals scored by Brazilians in the UCL.
- Raheem Sterling has been involved in seven goals in his last seven Champions League appearances (five goals, two assists) for Man City.
- Gabriel Jesus scored a hat-trick for City in their last meeting against Shakhtar in November 2018 - a 6-0 win. Of the 73 Brazilian players to have scored 4+ goals in the Champions League, Jesus has the best minutes per goal ratio (124 mins per goal).
Shakhtar v Man City: Odds
Man City: 4/11
All odds correct at the time of writing.