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Celtic ready for Shakhtar showdown

Published: Monday 12 November 2007, 21.45CET
Celtic FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk can both scent a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League as they prepare to face off in Glasgow on Matchday 5.
 
 
 
Published: Monday 12 November 2007, 21.45CET

Celtic ready for Shakhtar showdown

Celtic FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk can both scent a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League as they prepare to face off in Glasgow on Matchday 5.

Celtic FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk can both scent a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League as they prepare to face off in Glasgow on Matchday 5.

• The pair sit level on six points in Group D, three points shy of leaders AC Milan but also three clear of bottom-placed SL Benfica, and they go into the match with the possibility of securing their passage to the knockout rounds with a game to spare.

• If Milan were to avoid defeat at Benfica in the section's other fixture, then Shakhtar would advance with a victory at Celtic Park. For Gordon Strachan's Scottish champions, meanwhile, they would have to win by more than the two clear goals by which they lost at Shakhtar in September.

• Shakhtar benefited from a bright start against Celtic on Matchday 1, Brandão breaking the deadlock within six minutes and Cristiano Lucarelli doubling the advantage just two minutes later. Mircea Lucescu's men built on that winning start with a 1-0 triumph at Benfica, Jadson scoring the goal that boosted their hopes of reaching the last 16 for the first time at the fourth attempt.

• The Ukrainian team's hopes were subsequently dented by home-and-away losses to Milan, however. Despite another Lucarelli goal, they went down 4-1 away to the European champions on Matchday 3, then lost the return in Donetsk to second-half goals from Filippo Inzaghi (2) and Kaká.

• Since losing in Donetsk, Celtic have recorded home victories against Milan and Benfica either side of a 1-0 reverse at Benfica. Goals from Stephen McManus and Scott McDonald earned them a 2-1 win against the Rossoneri on Matchday 2 while it took a solitary Aiden McGeady goal to overcome Benfica on Matchday 4.

• With that success against Benfica, Celtic have now recorded eleven victories in 15 UEFA Champions League matches on home soil and collected maximum points from each of their last five group stage fixtures at Celtic Park.

• Celtic's home form carried them into the last 16 in 2006/07 – the first appearance in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League for the 1967 European champions.

• Celtic won the sides' only previous encounter in Glasgow, Alan Thompson's first-half goal enough to down Shakhtar in a group stage game in November 2004. It was the visitors' first ever match in Scotland.

• Then, as now, Celtic had earlier lost in Donetsk, going down 3-0, and they eventually finished bottom of the section with Shakhtar third.

• The teams for that 2004/05 meeting at Celtic Park were:
Celtic: David Marshall, Didier Agathe, Stanislav Varga, Joos Valgaeren, Jackie McNamara, Aiden McGeady, Stilian Petrov, Neil Lennon, Alan Thompson, Henri Camara, John Hartson.
Shakhtar: Jan Laštuvka, Flavius Stoican, Cosmin Barcauan, Mariusz Lewandowski, Darijo Srna, Igor Duljaj, Anatoliy Tymoschuk, Zvonimir Vukić, Matuzalem, Andriy Vorobey, Julius Aghahowa.

• Celtic's overall home record against Ukrainian opposition is two wins, one draw and one defeat from four matches.

• Shakhtar's Volodymyr Yezerskiy, Dmytro Chygrynskiy, Olexandr Kucher and Olexandr Gladkiy were in the Ukraine side beaten 3-1 by Scotland in a UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier at Glasgow's Hampden Park on 13 October. Celtic's Scott Brown and McManus were in the victorious home side.

Last updated: 21/11/07 19.23CET

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