8/11/20 3 pm
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Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Basel are playing in the Quarterfinals of the Europa League in Germany at VELTINS-Arena.
Shakhtar is the best and the strongest team in Ukraine, and they have dominantly won the Ukrainian Premier League with 82 points, 23 points more than Dynamo Kyiv. In the second leg of their Round of 16 match against Wolfsburg in the Europa League, Shakhtar was the better team with 55% of ball possession, massive 9 shots on goal, 6 corner kicks, 4 big chances created, and solid 86% of the correct passes. This was a tight game where Wolfsburg had to attack in order to advance to the next stage, but Shakhtar was defending well, and in the end, Shakhtar has scored 3 goals in the final 4 minutes of the game, and they won 3-0. Moraes has now scored 3 goals for Shakhtar in the Europa League this season, while Alan added 2 goals. Malyshev, Ismaily, Vakula, and Tankovskyi are all injured, and none of them will play again this season. Shakhtar is in a fantastic form, and after winning the title, and the second leg game against Wolfsburg, Shakhtar is filled with confidence, and I think this 1-game knockout system might go in their favor.
Basel has been playing solid soccer, but with 3 losses and 4 draws after the restart, Shakhtar has lost the title in the Swiss Super League. Basel ended up in third place, which will take them into the Europa League qualifications for next season. Basel was coming into the second leg of Round of 16 in the Europa League with a huge 0-3 advantage from the first leg, and this match was basically just a formality for Basel. Basel has had only 33% of ball possession in this match, 7 shots on goal, 6 corner kicks, 5 big chances created, and 71% of accurate passes. Not that Eintracht produced any good chances, but Basel was defending well, and they were able to score a winning goal in the 88th minute. Zuffi, Zhegrova, Omlin, and Ramires are injured, while Kaiser is suspended. Fabian Frei is Basel’s top goalscorer in the Europa League with 5 goals, while Bua added 3 goals. Okafor, Widmer, Stocker, and Arthur have each scored 2 goals. Basel was dominant in the group stage where they won the first place and have scored 12 goals while conceding only 4 goals, and it’s not a coincidence that they were able to beat a solid team like Eintracht. The Swiss Super League is not behind them, and they can solely focus on the Europa League, where with a little bit of luck, Basel could be a nice surprise.
The trends are mixed here, but Basel hasn’t won any of their last 5 games against Shakhtar. Both Shakhtar and Basel are in good form, and they have both won their second leg game. Frankly, this one could go either way, which is why I will pick something on goals here.