Shakhtar Donetsk – Monaco | 25/08/2021 Champions league Qualifications

Shakhtar Donetsk will be aiming to spring another surprise in the Champions League when they welcome Monaco to NSK Olimpiyskiy for the second leg of their playoff tie on Wednesday. A 19th-minute winner from Pedrinho saw the Ukrainian side prevail in the first leg at the Stade Louis II, and Monaco’s league fortunes have not improved whatsoever since then.

Shakhtar Donetsk are in pole position to reach the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage for the fifth consecutive season after a slender 1-0 away win in the first leg. That was their third successive one-goal margin victory in this season’s UCL qualifying stage, and interestingly, they also overcame Rapid Wien on aggregate by this margin during their last appearance in this round (3-2, 2015/16).

The ‘Miners’ should be confident in their ability to see off the visitors here, especially as they’ve dug in deep to win 11 of their last 12 UEFA competition ties in which they were victorious away from home in the first leg. Caution should be exercised though as that one failure to win came via an extra-time Europa League defeat to Celta Vigo in 2016/17 after winning the away clash 1-0.

Although up against it, Monaco will still be hoping they can secure progression to the UCL group stage for the first time since 2018/19. However they come into this clash on the back of three straight competitive defeats, and their home and away wins against Sparta Prague in the last qualifying round were also their only victories across their previous 17 UCL clashes (D3, L12).

If the French side are to overcome the first-leg deficit, keeping things tight at the back will be important. But just one clean sheet across their last 19 UCL away matches does appear to indicate that Niko Kovač’s side may need to score a few here if they are to progress.

Date: 25/08/2021
Time: 22:00
Venue: OSC Metalist (Kharkiv)
Pick for this match:
“1” – @ 3.16( 1XBET )

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