Sheriff Tiraspol will make history when they host Shakhtar Donetsk in their first-ever Champions League Group Stage game at the Sheriff Sports Complex in Tiraspol. The home side qualified for the Champions League group stages with aggregate wins over Teuta, Alashkert, Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb in the first, second, third and play-off rounds respectively. The Moldovan side also are on a great run in the domestic league. They have earned twelve points from five fixtures, winning four games and losing just on a single occasion. They are currently placed fourth in the domestic league but have played three games lesser than the league leaders. Sheriff Tiraspol’s success in the qualification campaign of the Champions League can be attributed to their exceptional defensive performance. They have managed to keep clean sheets in their last five matches across all competitions and have had under 2.5 goals in nine of their last fifteen matches.
Shakhtar Donetsk also had to battle it out in the qualification stages to advance to the Champions League group stages. They were seeded straight to the third round directly. Roberto De Zerbi’s men overcame Genk and Monaco in the qualification rounds. Shakhtar Donetsk are also off to a flying start in the Ukrainian Premier League as well, earning sixteen points from seven fixtures and sitting at second in the standings. The Ukrainian side is also unbeaten for seven straight games. They also have been defensively disciplined, keeping four clean sheets in their last six games and had under 2.5 goals in four of their last six matches.
Despite Shakhtar Donetsk’s great run of form, they will face a stern test against an upbeat Sheriff Tiraspol side especially since the home side have been a decent defensive side so far. Both sides have been economical when it comes to goals conceded in the recent fixtures. The game is expected to be a tight contest and we are predicting under 2.5 goals for this Champions League tie.