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Shakhtar Donetsk vs Basel Europa League preview

Shakhtar Donetsk take on Basel in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals – all you need to know.

Basel will face Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals in Gelsenkirchen on 11 August at 21:00 CET.

The teams

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
UEFA ranking: 18
Domestic position: 1 (final match: 19 July)
Last five games: WDWWW
How they got there: UEFA Champions League group stage, 5-4 Benfica (R32), 5-1 Wolfsburg (R16)
Last season: round of 32 (L vs Eintracht Frankfurt)
Quarter-final record: P2 W2 L0 (most recent: 2015/16, W vs Braga)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (2008/09)

Basel (SUI)
UEFA ranking: 26
Domestic position: 3 (final match: 2 August)
Last five games: WDDDW
How they got there: Group C winners, 4-0 APOEL (R32), 4-0 Frankfurt (R16)
Last season: play-offs (L vs Apollon Limassol)
Quarter-final record: P3 W1 L2 (most recent: 2013/14, L vs Valencia)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: semi-finals (2012/13)

Possible line-ups

Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov; Dodô, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko, Bolbat; Marcos Antônio, Stepanenko, Alan Patrick; Marlos, Júnior Moraes, Taison
Out: Khocholava (suspended)

Basel: Nikolić; Widmer, Van Der Werff, Alderete, Petretta; Xhaka, Frei; Stocker, Campo, Pululu; Cabral
Out: Cömert (suspended), Omlin (muscular), Ramires (unspecified), Zuffi (knee)

Reporter's view

Bogdan Buga, Shakhtar reporter: If Shakhtar reproduce the quality they showed against Wolfsburg, I would be all but certain we'll see them in the semi-finals. This time, however, they need to be more clinical and not keep goals for later. Shakhtar's biggest strength is quick and efficient front line with fine-tuned attacking transitions. The Pitmen kept a first clean sheet in 27 UEFA games last time out – a positive sign for the defence too, but Khocholava's absence leaves Luís Castro with a big gap to fill at the back.

James Thorogood, Basel reporter: Unbeaten in eight including the win against Frankfurt on Thursday, Basel could reach the semi-finals of a UEFA competition for only the second time in club history. Marcel Koller’s charges are still yet to concede in the knockout stages of the Europa League this season having netted eight times themselves. They'll take some stopping.

What the coaches say

Shakhtar coach Luís Castro: "I look at Basel as an extremely aggressive team, with a strong midfield with [Fabian] Frei, [Taulant] Xhaka and [Samuele] Campo. And then there is [Arthur] Cabral up front, very assertive, aggressive and intense, and [Afimico] Pululu on the left, who is also strong. They have a defensive line which serves the attack perfectly. We face a very complex game."

Marcel Koller, Basel coach: "As a national-team coach, I've experienced tournaments like this. It is important to focus on one game at a time. Shakhtar have a lot of very good players. They have excellent skills, we have taken that into account, but we have the qualities to be successful. In a one-off game, we have a better chance to go through. That’s because the two teams don't know each other very well. We want to take advantage of this."

What's next

The winners of this tie will face Inter in the semi-finals on Monday 17 August in Dusseldorf, with the final in Cologne four days later.

Source: UEFA 

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