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Champions League preview: Shakhtar v Chelsea

By Football News



A strong record at home against English sides should give Shakhtar Donetsk confidence before their UEFA Champions League clash with Chelsea.

Shakhtar have played a quartet of English Premier League clubs since 2000 and have won three of the four home games against those sides, including a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal in the group stages of the 2010/11 Champions League.

That was the second time Arsenal lost in Donetsk after a 3-0 defeat in 2000, while Tottenham also failed away to Shakhtar, losing 2-0 in the Europa League in 2009.

Fulham are the only Premier League club to have beaten Shakhtar at home, winning 2-1 in the Europa League in 2010.

The Ukrainian Premier League leaders knocked off Illichivets 2-1 on Saturday to extend their perfect start to the season to 12 wins, as they sit 12 points clear at the top of the table.

Tuesday's clash at Donbass Arena represents a top-of-the-group clash, with both sides on four points but the English visitors ahead on goal difference.

Chelsea are unbeaten and top of the Premier League as they head to Ukraine fresh from a 4-2 win away to rivals Tottenham on Saturday.

Juan Mata was the match-winner for Chelsea, scoring two goals in three minutes to put his side in front in the second half and Shakhtar must be wary of the Blues' attacking midfield trio, which consists of the young Spaniard, Belgium's Eden Hazard and Oscar of Brazil.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo will certainly instruct his defenders to focus on Armenian striker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as the 23-year-old has scored 14 goals in 12 games for Shakhtar this season.

In the other Group E clash, Juventus could go top if they win in Denmark against Nordsjaelland, and Chelsea and Shakhtar draw.

Nordsjaelland have yet to score in their debut Champions League campaign and conceded four goals when Chelsea visited in their most recent match.

Juventus were impressive away to Chelsea on the opening matchday in a 2-2 draw but could only manage the same result at home against Shakhtar and head coach Antonio Conte will be keen to get on the winner's list against Nordsjaelland.