Foot Predictions shows the Europa League clash on Thursday between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Shakhtar Donetsk, including hunches, news about the teams and possible lineups.
Israeli clothing Maccabi Tel Aviv entertain Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday night, with both teams seeking an advantage for the second leg.
The hosts finished second in Group I to qualify for the knockout stage, while the Ukrainian champions fell from the Champions League after narrowly losing a place in the top two in Group B.
Caretaker Manager Patrick van Leeuwen is undefeated during his short term at Maccabi’s central bank, with nine wins and a draw in his 10 games at the helm.
The Dutchman helped extend the Bloomfield Stadium team’s unbeaten run to 14 games and narrowed the gap for league leader Maccabi Haifa to just two points.
Tel Aviv’s impressive recent form will fill them with confidence as they enter this game, despite their underdog status.
This is only the second time Maccabi has reached this stage of the Europa League in their history, after losing to Basel in 2014, and Leeuwen’s men will be desperate to take it a step further this time.
Shakhtar came close to advancing in a group that contained Real Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach and Inter, ending on an equal footing with the Germans, but ended up failing due to a lower direct confrontation.
Luis castroThe men reached the semifinal stage of last season’s competition, where they were defeated 5-0 by a Romelu Lukaku inspired Inter.
The 2009 champion started unbeaten in the championship, with eight wins and six draws in the 14 Ukrainian Premier League matches, although he is behind Dynamo Kyiv by three points.
They returned from their long winter break at the weekend, but had a surprising 0-0 draw with Kolos, in the middle of the table.
Castro hopes that the impasse will eradicate illness in his team and fully prepare his team for this crucial midweek confrontation.
Europa League Maccabi Tel Aviv form: WWLDDW
Maccabi Tel Aviv form (all competitions): WWWWWW
Shakhtar Donetsk form (all competitions): WWWDWD
All news from the teams
Maccabi will be without long-term absence Nikolic Uros as the attacking midfielder has not yet recovered from a serious knee injury.
He is accompanied on the treatment table by Yonatan Cohen, Eden Karzev and central midfielder Eyal golasa, who contracted an ankle injury earlier in the month.
Castro cannot use midfielder services Maksym Malyshev, with the 28-year-old player several weeks from returning to the main action after knee surgery.
Brazilian striker Dentinho he is also out on the pitch due to a calf injury and will not play Thursday’s game.
Possible initial lineup of Maccabi Tel Aviv:
Daniel; Saborit, Tibi, Hernandez, Kandil; Glazer, Peretz; Cohen, Rikan, Bitton; Pesic
Possible starting line-up for Shakhtar Donetsk:
Trubin; Matviyenko, Vitao, Kryvtsov, Dodo; Patrick, Stepanenko; Taison, Marlos, Konoplyanka; Moraes
Probability: Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar will be the favorites for this two-legged tie, but Maccabi has been in great shape lately and will be betting on opportunities midweek. Ukrainians played their first official match in two months on Sunday, and the lack of action could result in a surprising victory for the hosts.
Our expert tip partners at Dicasbet365.com are predicting less than 3.5 goals in this match. Click here and join our VIP group where there are already +2,000 members (earning from 100.00 to 1,000.00 per day) to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more tested and proven football tips.Below 3.5: data