Barcelona - Shakhtar Donetsk predictions and free betting tips [25/10/2023]
Today Barcelona will welcome Shakhtar at the Louis Companys Olympic Stadium in Barcelona for the 3rd round of the Champions League group stage.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Balde, Martinez, Araujo, Cancelo, Romeu, Gundogan, Lopez, Felix, Torres, Jamal.
Shakhtar: Riznyk, Konoplya, Bondar, Rakitsky, Topalov, Stepanenko, Zubkov, Bondarenko, Krysyk, Neverton, Sikan.
Barcelona has learnt from their previous Champions League failures and confidently leads their group. However, coach Xavi's charges should not get carried away since they have faced relatively modest opposition. In the previous round, they secured a victory against Porto away with a 1:0 score. Xavi used a 4-3-3 formation. In La Liga, Barcelona occupies the third place, trailing the leader by 1 point. This past weekend they managed a 1:0 victory over Athletic Bilbao. In the pipeline for the Catalans is a match against Real Madrid, the players are already preparing for this important event, providing Shakhtar an opportunity to benefit from their distractive spirit. Barcelona's game is faltering due to a large number of injured footballers, plus Xavi's key player, Gavi, is suspended.
Effectively, the coach doesn't have the option to rest and rotate his squad, particularly for Champions League matches. In spite of their recent lacklustre performance, the Catalans have yet to suffer a defeat this season. Unexpectedly, Felix has become the leading attacker, and 16-year-old Jamal is steadily taking on the role of a leader and top scorer.
In the current Champions League run, Shakhtar has gathered 3 points and is aiming to proceed from the group to the play-off round. The team is primarily made up of players holding Ukrainian passports and can't afford to sign foreign players, having lost all of their stars. It didn't hamper them from achieving an impressive comeback victory over Antwerp last round, 3:2 away. In the national championship, the Miners are surprisingly holding the third position.
On October 21, they managed to defeat Cherkassy 3:0, playing in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Just before the clash with Barcelona, Shakhtar's management appointed a new head coach, Marino Pusic, previously assisting Arne Slot at Feyenoord. Among the injuries, Traore's continued absence due to injury should be noted. The other club leaders are ready for action.
The teams held 9 matches among themselves with Barcelona scoring 6 victories and 2 defeats. The last time they clashed in the Champions League was in 2011 where the Spaniards claimed a 5:1 home victory and 1:0 away win.
Match Prediction Barcelona – Shakhtar
Barcelona under Xavi has looked considerably more confident and learnt to clinch points through sheer class. The favourite in this encounter is evident.