12 August 2020
Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel will lock horns at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen for the revamped UEFA Europa League quarter-finals decider. A trip to Germany evokes pleasant memories for the rivals as both eliminated Bundesliga teams in the previous knockout round.
Shakhtar ran riot against Wolfsburg in their last-16 tie, pulling off a stunning 5-1 aggregate success (2-1 H, 3-0 A) to reach the Europa League quarter-finals for the second time in the club’s history. The last time the Ukrainians appeared in this stage of the competition, they brushed aside Braga, 6-1 on aggregate (2-1 A, 4-0 H). Since crossing over to the Europa League knockout stage after an underwhelming Champions League group-phase campaign (W1, D3, L2), the ‘Hirnyky’ have scored over 1.5 goals in all four European outings, netting a total of ten! But, despite winning seven of their 11 UEFA clashes against Swiss teams, Shakhtar have endured mixed fortunes in their four knockout-stage ties versus such opponents (W2, L2).
Meanwhile, Basel dismantled Eintracht Frankfurt in their last-16 tie, putting four past the Germans without reply (3-0 A, 1-0 H). It also means that the Swiss giants have picked up four wins out of four Europa League knockout-stage matches this season, with each of those successes yielding a clean sheet. Additionally, except for a 2-1 home triumph over Getafe in the group stage, all seven of Basel’s other Europa League wins this season were accompanied by a blank sheet. Despite losing both of their last European clashes against Shakhtar, the ‘RotBlau’ were victorious in their lone previous UEFA tie against Ukrainian opponents, clinching a 3-1 aggregate win over Dnipro in the 2012/13 Europa League round of 32 (2-0 H, 1-1 A).
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