06 Augustr 2020
Wolfsburg head to the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League last-16 tie, looking to overcome a 2-1 deficit from the reverse fixture.
Shakhtar shifted to the Europa League knockout stage after finishing third in the UEFA Champions League Group C behind the likes of Manchester City and Atalanta. They then managed to squeeze past Benfica in the Europa League round of 32, 5-4 on aggregate (2-1 H, 3-3 A) to reach their second-ever competition’s round of 16. Importantly, a 2-1 home success against Benfica brought the Ukrainian’s seven-game winless streak in European home matches to a halt (D4, L3), with seven of those eight matches producing over 2.5 goals. Notably, the ‘Hirnyky’ have failed to progress to the next European knockout stage round only once from ten UEFA ties in which they won the first leg on the road!
As for the visitors, they advanced to the Europa League knockout stage after finishing runners-up in Group I (W3, D2, L1) thanks to the two identical 1-0 wins on Matchday 5 and Matchday 6 respectively. Wolfsburg then went on to dump Malmo out of the competition’s round of 32, 5-1 on aggregate (2-1 H, 3-0 A). Remarkably, ‘Die Wölfe’ take this trip on a run of nine Europa League away matches without a loss (W5, D4) and have yet to taste defeat in the competition outside of England (W5, D6). Wolfsburg can also draw inspiration from the fact they’ve successfully negotiated both of their previous Europa League last-16 ties. A potential worry for the German visitors is that they were eliminated from Europe in all three of their last UEFA ties in which they lost the first leg on home soil.
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