Wolfsburg will have to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg of this UEFA Europa League round of 16 against Shakhtar Donetsk, as they eye a fourth quarter-final appearance in the competition. The first leg at Wolfsburg saw Shakhtar open and close the scoring – Junior Moraes and Marcos Antonio respectively being the scorers. Wolfsburg found their goal through John Brooks, but face an uphill battle in this trip.
The first leg win meant Shakhtar have lost only twice in their last 15 Europa League matches. This sequence saw them win 11 and draw two matches. More importantly, Shakhtar have a very impressive home record in the Europa League competition-winning seven of their last ten Europa League home matches, while losing only once. Goals have never been a worry for Shakhtar, as they have scored at least two goals in nine of those last ten matches. The hosts have also kept five clean sheets in those seven wins and should they do so, Shakhtar will have a clear path to the quarters.
Wolfsburg’s loss in the first leg was their only loss in five Europa League matches, winning the other four. However, three of those have come with a one-goal margin which might not be enough to overturn the deficit here. That said, Wolfsburg have an impressive record away from home in the Europa League. The Germans are unbeaten in nine Europa League away matches, which is just two behind the competition record held jointly by Fiorentina and Lazio. Six of these nine matches saw Wolfsburg score at least two goals, raising hopes of a recovery.
Shakhtar Donetsk have drawn their last seven home games against German opposition, Shakhtar will take confidence from their record of nine wins out of the ten UEFA competition ties in which they have won the away first leg. Additionally, Wolfsburg have lost the first home leg of a UEFA tie three times earlier, failing to progress every time. Shakhtar will fancy their chances of at least a draw and that remains our pick.