Inter vs Shakhtar Europa League preview

Shakhtar face Inter in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals – all you need to know.

Inter meet Shakhtar in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in Düsseldorf on Monday 17 August at 21:00 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.

Possible line-ups

Inter: Handanovič; Godín, De Vrij, Bastoni; D’Ambrosio, Barella, Brozović, Gagliardini, Young; Lautaro Martínez, Lukaku
Out: Vecino (knee), Sánchez (thigh)

Shakhtar: Pyatov; Dodô, Kryvtsov, Bondar, Matviyenko; Marcos Antônio, Stepanenko; Marlos, Alan Patrick, Taison; Júnior Moraes

The teams

Internazionale Milano (ITA)
UEFA ranking
: 39
Domestic position: 2 (final match: 1 August)
Last five games: WWWWD
How they got there: UEFA Champions League group stage, 4-1 Ludogorets (R32), 2-0 Getafe (R16), 2-1 Leverkusen (QF)
Last season: round of 16 (L vs Eintracht Frankfurt)
Semi-final record: P7 W4 L3 (most recent: 2001/02, L vs Feyenoord)
Final record: P4 W3 L1 (most recent: 1997/98, W vs Lazio)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (1990/91, 1993/94, 1997/98)

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
UEFA ranking
: 14
Domestic position: 1 (final match: 19 July)
Last five games: WWDWW
How they got there: UEFA Champions League group stage, 5-4 Benfica (R32), 5-1 Wolfsburg (R16), 4-1 Basel (QF)
Last season: round of 32 (L vs Eintracht Frankfurt)
Semi-final record: P2 W1 L1 (most recent: 2015/16, L vs Sevilla)
Final record: P1 W1 L0 (2008/09, W vs Bremen)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best
: winners (2008/09)

Previous meetings

2005/06 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
10/08/2005 Shakhtar 0-2 Inter (Martins 68, Adriano 79)
24/08/2005 Inter 1-1 Shakhtar (Recoba 12; Elano 25)

How the teams are shaping up

The higher the bar, the higher Inter are jumping with the final only one step away now. The defence is rock-solid (one goal conceded in the last six games), team spirit is right and Lukaku is unstoppable at times. In order to beat Shakhtar, however, the Nerazzurri will need to improve again, especially when it comes to taking chances. Missed opportunities could be paid at a very high price this time around considering Shakhtar’s quality.
Paolo Menicucci, Inter reporter

Shakhtar are already one up on Inter: they are 11 matches unbeaten, winning nine. The Ukrainian champions' philosophy has remained largely the same since Mircea Lucescu launched their possession-based attacking style, building from the back, passing fluently in midfield and showing lightning-fast penetration in the final third. Luís Castro has made the team a bit quicker in transitions and more direct – just ask Basel, who were overwhelmed in the last eight. 
Bogdan Buga, Shakhtar reporter


Antonio Conte is a fan of the three-man defence. His 3-5-2 sees two men up front with two dynamic midfielders ahead of a holding midfielder (Marcelo Brozović) and two attacking players on the wings. The build-up starts from the back, attracting the opponents' pressing and then searching for the forwards – Lukaku in particular – with long balls from defenders or even goalkeeper Samir Handanovič.
Paolo Menicucci, Inter reporter

Shakhtar's basic formation is a hybrid of 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1. In general, the midfield triangle have distinct roles: Taras Stepanenko plays deeper and operates between the centre-backs in the early build-up stage; the dynamic Marcos Antônio covers every bit of territory from box to box; and Alan Patrick pulls the strings behind striker Júnior Moraes. Out wide, Taison and Marlos love to cut inside and leave the flanks to the full-backs.
Bogdan Buga, Shakhtar reporter

What the coaches say

Antonio Conte, Inter coach: "We have a lot or respect for Shakhtar. We are facing a team who have established themselves over the years, and we are well prepared. [Shakhtar] are the strongest opponents we have faced so far in our Europa League path, but we want to show that there's a reason that we are in the semi-finals and our aim is to reach the final."

Luís Castro, Shakhtar coach: "We are preparing for this game with a huge desire to get to the final. We will play against a really strong team – that will not be a surprise for us. [Antonio] Conte has interesting dynamic [in his team] – their play is complex both in attack and defence, in transitions and tactical set-ups. But we are ready for that."

What's next

The winners of this tie will face Sevilla in the final in Cologne on Friday 21 August.

Source: UEFA

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