The top two sides in Group D - FC Shakhtar Donetsk and AC Milan - can both claim an outright lead in the section with victory in their Matchday 4 game in Ukraine.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk and AC Milan will both set their sights on gaining an outright lead in Group D when they meet in Ukraine on Matchday 4. Milan's 4-1 defeat of Shakhtar last time out left the two teams level on six points at the top of the group and victory for either at the RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium would represent a major step towards securing a place in the last 16.
• Milan owed their victory over Shakhtar on 24 October to goals from Alberto Gilardino (6 minutes, 14) and Clarence Seedorf (62, 69). Prior to Seedorf's double, Shakhtar's Italian striker Cristiano Lucarelli had given the visitors hope with a 51st-minute effort.
• The UEFA Champions League holders opened their title defence with a 2-1 home victory against SL Benfica on Matchday 1, Andrea Pirlo and Filippo Inzaghi scoring. Carlo Ancelotti's men then suffered a 2-1 reverse at Celtic FC in their second outing, going down to a last-minute goal from Scott McDonald after Kaká's spot-kick had cancelled out Stephen McManus's opening effort for the Scottish champions.
• Shakhtar took maximum points from their first two fixtures, raising their hopes of advancing from the group stage for the first time. Goals from Brandão and Lucarelli earned a 2-0 win against Celtic on Matchday 1 and they subsequently prevailed 1-0 at Benfica courtesy of a 42nd-minute Jadson strike.
• These two wins mean the Donetsk club need only one more point to achieve their highest points tally in the competition, having taken six in each of their three previous appearances in the group stage in 2000/01, 2004/05 and 2006/07.
• Milan and Shakhtar faced each other for the first time in the group stage of the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League. Clarence Seedorf's 84th-minute strike swung a tightly contested game Milan's way when they met in Ukraine on the opening matchday in September 2004.
• The teams that night were:
Shakhtar: Jan Laštuvka, Razvan Rat, Mariusz Lewandowski, Cosmin Barcuan, Darijo Srna, Igor Duljaj, Anatoliy Tymoschuk, Matuzalem, Zvonimir Vukić, Ciprian Marica, Andriy Vorobey.
Milan: Dida, Cafu, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Kaká, Andriy Shevchenko, Jon Dahl Tomasson.
• The Rossoneri won the return fixture in Milan 4-0 through goals from Kaká (2) and Hernán Crespo (2).
• Shakhtar have won only twice in six home matches against Italian opposition and had suffered four successive home defeats prior to last season's 1-0 victory against AS Roma in Donetsk, Ciprian Marica the scorer.
• Milan's Massimo Ambrosini, Massimo Oddo and Pirlo featured for Italy in their 2-1 win against Ukraine in a UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier in Kiev on 12 September. Four players from Shakhtar – Olexiy Gay, Olexandr Gladkiy, Olexandr Kucher and Volodymyr Yezerskiy – were on the losing side.
• Shakhtar's Romanian coach Lucescu was in charge of Milan's city rivals FC Internazionale Milano for part of the 1998/99 season, during which time he oversaw a 2-2 'home' derby draw with the Rossoneri in March 1999.
• As a player Lucescu was in the FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti team beaten by Milan in the first round of the 1976/77 UEFA Cup. However, he featured only in the goalless first-leg draw in Bucharest, missing his side's 2-1 reverse in the return.
• In his playing days Ancelotti was an unused substitute for the Italy team beaten 1-0 by a Lucescu-coached Romania in a UEFA European Championship qualifier in April 1983.
• Milan's Georgian defender Kakha Kaladaze spent three seasons in Ukraine with Shakhtar's domestic rivals FC Dynamo Kyiv before leaving for Italy in 2000.
• Shakhtar forward Lucarelli has won five Italy caps and played for a string of Italian club sides – Cuoiopelli Cappiano Romaiano FC, AC Perugia, Cosenza Calcio, Calcio Padova 1910, Atalanta BC, US Lecce, Torino FC and AS Livorno Calcio – before moving to Ukraine in the summer.