Shakhtar Donetsk will welcome Spanish giants Barcelona tomorrow (1 October 2008) in a Champions league showdown. The match will take place at the RSK Olimpiyskyi stadium, Ukraine. Both sides are going through a bad patch in their respective domestic leagues, but started their Champions league campaign with impressive victories. So, it is expected to be a hard-fought match.
Match: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Barcelona, Group C, Champions League 2008-2009
Date: 1 October 2008, Wednesday
Venue: RSK Olimpiyskyi Stadium
Kick off: 19:45 BST (British Standard Time)
Shakhtar Donetsk is the defending champion of Ukrainian premier league. However, the Ukrainian champions got off to a poor start to their title defense campaign this season. Having played nine matches so far this season, Shakhtar Donetsk occupies the 11th position in the league table, securing only 9 points, 13 points behind the league leader Dynamo Kyiv. There is no doubt that Shakhtar Donetsk is now way out of their title defense challenge in Ukrainian premier league, having won only one of their nine matches. In their last five matches in all competitions, Shakhtar Donetsk won two and drew three. So, here it is clear their recent form is not satisfactory. In their very recent league match, they settled for a 1-1 drew against second placed Metalurh Donetsk.
However, Shakhtar Donetsk started off well in Champions league with a 2-1 victory away at FC Basel. So, their poor domestic run may not affect their Europe form. Here, I want to mention one thing that Shakhtar Donetsk failed to get into the round of 16 last season, even after starting brilliantly by winning the first two group stage matches. So, they have to hold on to their current form of Europe in order to make it to the round of 16 this time. They will face Barcelona at home and they can relish on the fact that Western European countries stumbled at Ukrainian teams many time in the past due to weather and condition. However, Barcelona will not have to face freezing condition this time as it is now summer in Ukraine.
Spanish giants Barcelona will find it a tricky trip to RSK Olimpiyskyi stadium of their Ukrainian opposition. Barcelona’s failed to make a good start in La Liga this season. Barcelona’s domestic form has so far been unimpressive and disappointing. The Catalan club managed to pick up only one point from their opening two league matches. However, the good thing is that Barcelona is gradually returning to their prime form. In their last five matches in all competitions, Barcelona won four and drew one. In fact, the Barcelona won their last four matches including a 6-1 thrash over Real Sporting de Gijon. Barcelona won the Catalan derby at Espanyol 2-1 last weekend. Now, after five matches, Barcelona stands at the 5th place with10 points under their belt. Out of five league matches, Barcelona won three, lost one and drew one.
Moreover, Barcelona defeated Sporting CP Lisbon 3-1 in the Champions league opener. So, the Spanish club will go into the match against Shakhtar Donetsk with full of confidence. So, Shakhtar Donetsk and Barcelona have some similarities in terms of their domestic form and European form. Both the clubs started off poor at home, while they got impressive victory in their respecting opening match schedule in Champions league. The only difference is that Barcelona’s recent form indicates that they are come back with their prime form, while Shakhtar Donetsk’s recent form does not imply any quick improvement.
Online Live Score and Updates
Here, I am giving some online live score and updates from where you can get live score and updates of the match:
Live Football Scores
I think, this is too close a match to call. Shakhtar Donetsk will enjoy the home condition and get the support of home fans, while Barcelona has a number of quality players like Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o in the attacking line up and Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique in the defense. So, it is not going to be an easy affair for either side.