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Two Champions League Third Place Teams Meet in Ukraine

Shakhtar Donetsk vs SL Benfica Preview 20/02/2020

18 February 2020 | Europa League | Preview
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Two Champions League Third Place Teams Meet in Ukraine
Vitalii Vitleo / Shutterstock.com

The 3rd place club from each of the 8 Champions League groups qualify for the Round of 32 in the Europa League this season. However, they are not kept apart in the draw and on Thursday night we see two teams meet who began this season in the Champions League group stages.

Shakhtar Donetsk play Benfica in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv.

Shakhtar Donetsk will be playing in their first competitive match since the 12th of December as there has been a winter break in Ukraine. Despite having only played 18 matches in their domestic league, Shakhtar Donetsk are well on their way to winning the title as they have a 14 point lead over the team in 2nd place .

Shakhtar Donetsk have lost only one of their last 9 competitive matches and that came in the Champions League at home against Atalanta. It was a very disappointing 3-0 defeat which saw Shakhtar Donetsk eliminated from the Champions League. They failed to win a single game at home in the competition this season, drawing against Dinamo Zagreb and losing to Manchester City.

Their home record in the Europa League is much better and Shakhtar Donetsk have lost only one of their last 10 matches. They have won 6 of those 10 games but have failed to win the last 2 having drawn with Eintracht Frankfurt and lost against Celta Vigo.

Benfica come into the game having lost 1-0 at home against Sporting Braga In the Portuguese league on the weekend. They have a one point lead at the top of the table over 2nd place Porto but have failed to win any of their last 3 matches in all competitions. Prior to the loss on the weekend, Benfica were held to a draw by Famalicão in the Portuguese Cup and lost away against Porto in the league.

Benfica finished 3rd in their Champions League group which consisted of RB Leipzig, Lyon and Zenit St Petersburg. It was a good opportunity to progress in the Champions League this season but Benfica won only 2 of their 6 games in the competition. Neither of those victories came away from home and Benfica lost 2 and drew 1 of their 3 away matches.

Benfica have won just one of their last 5 away Europa League games.

Team news and Shakhtar Donetsk have been on a break from competitive action and therefore every player is fit and available.

Benfica on the other hand have three doubts with Andre Gomes Almeida, Gabriel Appelt Pires and Jardel all struggling for fitness ahead of this match.

Shakhtar Donetsk can be very unpredictable in European football but they have proven to be tough to beat at home in the Europa League. However, Benfica managed to pick up one more point than them in the Champions League and this should be a close game. We could see a draw with both teams scoring.

Predictions for Europa League

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_14 UEL
Sevilla FCAS Roma
12/03/2020 18:55
X
flag_14 UEL
Inter MilanoGetafe CF
12/03/2020 21:00
X
flag_14 UEL
Istanbul BasaksehirFC København
12/03/2020 18:55
X
flag_14 UEL
Eintracht FrankfurtFC Basel
12/03/2020 18:55
1

Europa League - predictions, tips, statistics
Group A
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Sevilla FC 15 6 5 0 1 14 3 11
2. APOEL FC 10 6 3 1 2 10 8 2
3. Karabakh Agdam 5 6 1 2 3 8 11 -3
4. F91 Dudelange 4 6 1 1 4 8 18 -10
Group B
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Malmö FF 11 6 3 2 1 8 6 2
2. FC København 9 6 2 3 1 5 4 1
3. Dynamo Kiev 7 6 1 4 1 7 7 0
4. FC Lugano 3 6 0 3 3 2 5 -3
Group C
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. FC Basel 13 6 4 1 1 12 4 8
2. Getafe CF 12 6 4 0 2 8 4 4
3. FK Krasnodar 9 6 3 0 3 7 11 -4
4. Trabzonspor 1 6 0 1 5 3 11 -8
Group D
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. LASK Linz 13 6 4 1 1 11 4 7
2. Sporting CP 12 6 4 0 2 11 7 4
3. PSV Eindhoven 8 6 2 2 2 9 12 -3
4. Rosenborg BK 1 6 0 1 5 3 11 -8
Group E
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Celtic FC 13 6 4 1 1 10 6 4
2. CFR Cluj 12 6 4 0 2 6 4 2
3. Lazio 6 6 2 0 4 6 9 -3
4. Stade Rennais 4 6 1 1 4 5 8 -3
Group F
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Arsenal 11 6 3 2 1 14 7 7
2. Eintracht Frankfurt 9 6 3 0 3 8 10 -2
3. Standard Liège 8 6 2 2 2 8 10 -2
4. Vitória Guimarães 5 6 1 2 3 7 10 -3
Group G
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. FC Porto 10 6 3 1 2 8 9 -1
2. Rangers FC 9 6 2 3 1 8 6 2
3. BSC Young Boys 8 6 2 2 2 8 7 1
4. Feyenoord 5 6 1 2 3 7 9 -2
Group H
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. RCD Espanyol 11 6 3 2 1 12 4 8
2. Ludogorets 8 6 2 2 2 10 10 0
3. Ferencvaros TC 7 6 1 4 1 5 7 -2
4. CSKA Moscow 5 6 1 2 3 3 9 -6
Group I
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. KAA Gent 12 6 3 3 0 11 7 4
2. VfL Wolfsburg 11 6 3 2 1 9 7 2
3. AS Saint-Étienne 4 6 0 4 2 6 8 -2
4. PFK Aleksandriya 3 6 0 3 3 6 10 -4
Group J
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Istanbul Basaksehir 10 6 3 1 2 7 9 -2
2. AS Roma 9 6 2 3 1 12 6 6
3. Mönchengladbach 8 6 2 2 2 6 9 -3
4. Wolfsberger AC 5 6 1 2 3 7 8 -1
Group K
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Sporting Braga 14 6 4 2 0 15 9 6
2. Wolverhampton 13 6 4 1 1 11 5 6
3. Slovan Bratislava 4 6 1 1 4 10 13 -3
4. Besiktas JK 3 6 1 0 5 6 15 -9
Group L
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Manchester United 13 6 4 1 1 10 2 8
2. AZ Alkmaar 9 6 2 3 1 15 8 7
3. FK Partizan 8 6 2 2 2 10 10 0
4. FC Astana 3 6 1 0 5 4 19 -15

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