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Donetsk duel for UEFA Cup berth

A UEFA Cup place is the remaining goal for third-placed FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Basel 1893when the bottom two teams in Group C meet again at the RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium in Ukraine on Matchday 5.

Shakhtar players celebrate their Matchday 1 win at Basel
Shakhtar players celebrate their Matchday 1 win at Basel ©Getty Images

A UEFA Cup place is the goal for FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Basel 1893 when the bottom two teams in Group C meet in Ukraine on Matchday 5.

• With FC Barcelona and Sporting Clube de Portugal sewing up the top two spots in the section on 4 November, Shakhtar and Basel are left to contest the consolation prize of third place and entry into the UEFA Cup's Round of 32 in the new year.

• Shakhtar must be considered favourites given they are the side in third place at present, with three points to Basel's one. A home victory will settle the issue in their favour but any other outcome will leave them hanging on the results of the Matchday 6 fixtures, when Shakhtar visit Barcelona and Basel host Sporting.

• The fact Shakhtar hold home advantage should count in their favour for while they have suffered defeats by both Barcelona (1-2) and Sporting (0-1) at the RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium in the past two months, they have never failed to record at least one home victory in their four previous UEFA Champions League group-stage campaigns.

• Mircea Lucescu's men may also draw encouragement from their Matchday 1 victory against Basel in Switzerland. Goals from Fernandinho (25) and Jadson (45+1) secured the three points for the Ukrainian visitors before David Abraham halved the deficit in added time at the end of the match.

• While Shakhtar suffered their third reverse of the campaign when succumbing 1-0 at Sporting last time out, Basel finally collected their first point after Eren Derdiyok's 82nd-minute strike cancelled out Lionel Messi's goal to earn a 1-1 draw at Barcelona.

• If that result provided a glimmer of hope, Christian Gross' men may also take heart from their relative durability on their travels in Europe as they prepare for their first visit to Ukraine. Their last nine away matches in the UEFA club competition – qualifiers included – have brought two wins, five draws and just two defeats.

• Shakhtar, for their part, can look to the fact they have only taken the wooden spoon once in four previous group-stage campaigns – not to mention their 100 per cent home record against Swiss opposition.

• The Donetsk outfit have won their three previous home matches against teams from the Alpine nation and boast an overall record of W4 D1 L2.

• Their most recent home victory came against FC Lugano in the second qualifying round of the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League. Shakhtar recorded a 3-0 first-leg success through goals from Alexey Bakharev, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Andriy Vorobey and finished up 4-2 aggregate winners.

• Prior to this season, Basel's only previous encounter with Ukrainian opposition in UEFA club competition had come at home against Shakhtar in a UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 7 game in June 1996 which finished 2-2.

• Hakan Yakin's 79th-minute goal earned a draw for Basel that day after Shakhtar's Oleksandr Ostashov and Volodymyr Pyatenko had overturned the early lead given the hosts by Dario Zuffi. The draw did neither team any favours, with both failing to progress any further.

• As coach of Grasshopper-Club, Basel boss Gross oversaw a 3-1 aggregate success against Ukrainian side FC Chornomorets Odesa in the first round of the 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

• Shakhtar coach Lucescu was once part of a Romania side beaten 7-1 by Switzerland in a UEFA European Championship preliminary round Group 6 tie in 1967.