The most impressive performers in the group stage, FC Barcelona will underline their title credentials by matching their points' haul from their triumphant 2005/06 campaign if they beat FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
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With more points and goals than any other team in this season's UEFA Champions League, FC Barcelona can underline their title credentials further with a victory against FC Shakhtar Donetsk that would ensure their best performance at this stage of the competition since their triumphant 2005/06 campaign.
• Already assured first place in Group C after a 5-2 win at closest challengers Sporting Clube de Portugal on Matchday 5, Barcelona will match their 16-point haul from three years ago – incidentally, the same amount accrued last season by eventual winners Manchester United FC – if they defeat Shakhtar at the Camp Nou.
• And having struck 16 goals already, their sum total in the 2005/06 group stage, they need only one against their Ukrainian opponents to outscore the team that brought Barcelona their second European crown.
• The fact Shakhtar have never won in Spain points to another successful evening for Josep Guardiola's men who are unbeaten in nine home matches in the UEFA Champions League, qualifiers included.
• Mircea Lucescu's visitors secured third place in the section – and with it, entry into the UEFA Cup in February – by overwhelming FC Basel 1893 5-0 in Donetsk on 26 November.
• It was a record win in UEFA club competition for Shakhtar and another positive result in their final fixture in Spain would earn them their highest points' total in the UEFA Champions League group stage. In each of their four previous campaigns, Shakhtar finished on six points, their current amount.
• Shakhtar also have the incentive of seeking revenge for their last-gasp 2-1 defeat by Barcelona when the teams met at the RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium on Matchday 2.
• Leading through a 45th-minute goal by Ilsinho, Shakhtar's hopes evaporated in a dramatic finale as Lionel Messi drew Barcelona level with 87 minutes on the clock, then struck the winner four minutes into added time.
• Barça and Shakhtar had both opened their campaigns with wins, the Spanish side beating Sporting 3-1 at home and Lucescu's team winning 2-1 at Basel. After the two clubs met in that dramatic encounter on 1 October, the Ukrainian champions lost home and away to Sporting while Barcelona followed up a 5-0 win in Switzerland with a 1-1 home draw against Basel.
• This is the sixth meeting between the sides, the previous five having yielded three wins for Barcelona, one for Shakhtar and one draw.
• Barcelona recorded 3-0 victories in the teams' past two matches at Camp Nou.
• Hans Krankl, Migueli and José Vicente Sánchez were the scorers when the Azulgrana beat Shakhtar 3-0 in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round. Their eventual 4-1 aggregate triumph proved the Spanish club's first step en route to lifting the trophy that year.
• The sides met a second time in the Catalan capital in the 2004/05 group stage when Deco (15), Ronaldinho (64, penalty) and Samuel Eto'o (89) got the goals in another home victory.
• The full lineups for that fixture on 29 September 2004 were:
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés, Juliano Belletti, Carles Puyol, Oleguer Presas (Fernando Navarro), Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Deco (Andrés Iniesta), Edmílson, Xavi Hernández, Ludovic Giuly (Henrik Larsson), Samuel Eto'o, Ronaldinho.
Shakhtar: Jan Laštuvka, Flavius Stoican (João Batista), Cosmin Barcauan, Mariusz Lewandowski, Răzvan Raţ, Igor Duljaj, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Matuzalem, Zvonimir Vukić (Aleksei Bakharev), Brandão (Andriy Vorobey), Ciprian Marica.
• Barcelona's overall home record against Ukrainian opposition is W4 D1 L1. Their only loss was a heavy one – a 4-0 drubbing by FC Dynamo Kyiv in 1997/98, which represents their joint-biggest defeat at home in European competition.
• Barcelona coach Guardiola was no stranger to Ukrainian opposition as a player, facing Shakhtar's arch-rivals Dynamo four times, winning three games and losing one.
• Shakhtar have never won in Spain, where they have recorded one draw and four defeats on five previous visits.
• That solitary draw came at Sevilla FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup Round of 16, where Tomáš Hübschman and Matuzalem struck in a first-leg tie that finished 2-2 following a late Enzo Maresca penalty for the hosts. Sevilla won the return 3-2 after extra time and were eventual tournament winners.
• Shakhtar coach Lucescu is still waiting to experience the taste of victory in Spain, 35 years after he first visited the country as a player with FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti for a European Champion Clubs' Cup tie against Club Atlético de Madrid. As both player and coach, the Romanian's eleven previous trips have produced six defeats and five draws.
• Lucescu led former club Galatasaray AŞ to a 2-2 draw at Barcelona in a second group stage match on 5 December 2001. Carles Puyol featured that evening for a Barcelona side who retrieved a two-goal deficit against the Romanian's team.
• Lucescu's most notable result against Spanish opposition came with Galatsaray when he oversaw their 2-1 triumph against Barcelona's great rivals Real Madrid CF in the 2000 UEFA Super Cup.
• Shakhtar defender Volodymyr Yezerskiy was in the Ukraine side beaten 4-0 by a Spain team featuring Barcelona duo Puyol and Xavi Hernández in the group stage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
• The draw for the UEFA Champions League first knockout round will take place at 12.00CET on Friday 19 December at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Group winners will be paired against runners-up from different sections with the second-placed teams playing the first leg at home. Clubs from the same associations cannot be drawn together.