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Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta facts

A Matchday 6 win will take Shakhtar through from Group C, although Atalanta could also progress with a victory.

Manor Solomon (left) is congratulated after scoring Shakhtar Donetsk's winner at Atalanta
Manor Solomon (left) is congratulated after scoring Shakhtar Donetsk's winner at Atalanta ©AFP/Getty Images

An intriguing Matchday 6 is in store in Group C as Shakhtar Donetsk meet Atalanta in Ukraine with both hoping to claim second place in the section – although Dinamo Zagreb could also progress to the last 16.

• Manchester City have won the group with 11 points, with Shakhtar second on six and Atalanta fourth on four. A home win in Kharkiv therefore means Shakhtar will go through if they beat Atalanta, or if they draw and Dinamo fail to win at home to City. Atalanta will go through if they beat Shakhtar and Dinamo do not beat City; Dinamo will go through if they win and Shakhtar do not beat Atalanta.

• On Matchday 2, in the sides' first meeting and Atalanta's first match against Ukrainian opposition, the Italian club looked set to pick up their first UEFA Champions League point even after Duván Zapata's first-half opener was cancelled out by Júnior Moraes before the break, only for Shakhtar substitute Manor Solomon to give the visitors the points five minutes into added time.

Highlights: Atalanta 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
Highlights: Atalanta 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk

Form guide
• Shakhtar have drawn their last three games, home (2-2) and away (3-3) against Dinamo Zagreb and, last time out, 1-1 at Manchester City. They had opened with a 3-0 loss at home against the English club before the comeback win at Atalanta.

• Shakhtar have won only two of their last 12 UEFA Champions League matches (D6 L4).

• The Donetsk club have been defeated in only three of their last 20 home matches in Europe (W11 D6), although they have not won any of the last six. They have not kept a clean sheet in any of the last 11.

• Quarter-finalists in 2010/11, Shakhtar won only one of their six matches in last season's group stage, collecting six points to finish behind City and Lyon in Group F. They then went down 6-3 on aggregate to Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 (2-2 h, 1-4 a).

Highlights: Manchester City 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Highlights: Manchester City 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

• Shakhtar have got out of their UEFA Champions League group in three of their last six participations.

• The Pitmen's record at home to Italian clubs is W5 L6. They have won the last two matches 2-1, most recently against Roma in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg, a tie they lost on away goals after a 1-0 away defeat.

• Shakhtar qualified as winners of the Ukrainian league, claiming the title for the 12th time in 2018/19, when they completed a domestic double for the third season in succession.

Highlights: Atalanta 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Highlights: Atalanta 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb

• Atalanta have suffered their two heaviest European defeats this season, losing 4-0 away to Dinamo on Matchday 1 before a 5-1 loss at Manchester City in their second away game. All four of their points have come in their home fixtures, played at San Siro in Milan; after being denied a point by those two late Shakhtar goals on Matchday 2, they held City to a 1-1 draw to get off the mark in the UEFA Champions League, then picked up their first win in the competition last time out with a 2-0 defeat of Dinamo.

• The win against Dinamo ended Atalanta's six-match winless run in Europe (D3 L3).

• Before Matchday 1, the Italian club were unbeaten in seven matches in continental competition; they have still lost only four of their last 19 European games (W8 D7).

• This is Atalanta's 41st European match, and their seventh campaign in continental competition. They reached the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals in 1987/88 and the UEFA Cup quarter-finals three years later.

Highlights: Atalanta 1-1 Manchester City
Highlights: Atalanta 1-1 Manchester City

• Third in Serie A in 2018/19, their highest ever finish, and Coppa Italia runners-up, this is Atalanta's third successive European campaign. They came through the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2017/18, losing to Borussia Dortmund in the round of 32 (2-3 a, 1-1 h), and were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Copenhagen in the play-offs of the same competition in 2018/19 after the tie had finished goalless; Atalanta had earlier eliminated Sarajevo (10-2 aggregate) and Hapoel Haifa (6-1).

• Atalanta lost five of their first six away European matches (D1) but have suffered only four defeats in the 13 since (W4 D5) and only three in the last nine (W3 D3).

• Atalanta are the only team to be making their group stage debut in 2019/20 – they are the tenth Italian club to feature and the 141st overall.

Highlights: Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Highlights: Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Dinamo Zagreb

Links and trivia
• Atalanta's Ukrainian international midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi started his career with Shakhtar, coming through the youth ranks before breaking into the first team in 2011. He was a Shakhtar player until 2017 but never played for the first team, having loan spells at a number of other clubs including Sevastopol and Zorya Luhansk, before leaving for Genk in 2015, initially on loan; he made the move to the Belgian club permanent in May 2017.

• Malinovskyi played 44 games and scored seven goals in the Ukrainian Premier League for Zorya Luhansk, where he was a team-mate of Shakhtar's Andrii Totovytskyi.

• Atalanta captain Alejandro Gómez played in Ukraine with Metalist in 2013/14 alongside Marlos, now at Shakhtar. His two games against Shakthar ended in a 1-1 draw and a 4-2 defeat.

Highlights: Manchester City 5-1 Atalanta
Highlights: Manchester City 5-1 Atalanta

• Josip Iličić was part of the Slovenia side that lost 3-1 on aggregate to Ukraine in the UEFA EURO 2016 play-offs; Andriy Pyatov, Taras Stepanenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka featured for the Zhovto-Syni.

• Atalanta's Guilherme Arana and Shakhtar's Dodô played together for Brazil U20s in 2016/17.

• International team-mates:
Andriy Pyatov, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Taras Stepanenko, Viktor Kovalenko, Marlos, Bohdan Butko, Mykola Matviyenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Serhiy Bolbat, Júnior Moraes & Ruslan Malinovskyi (Ukraine)

Latest news

• Shakhtar opened this season with a 2-1 Ukrainian Super Cup loss to Dynamo Kyiv, their third defeat in four years in the competition against their great rivals.

• That was Shakhtar's only domestic defeat this season until 30 October when they lost to the same opponents by the same scoreline after extra time in the Ukrainian Cup round of 16.

• Shakhtar's perfect start to the league season was ended by a goalless draw at home to Olexandriya on 27 October.

• The Donetsk club had previously won all 11 league games this season, and were on a 13-match winning run in the competition overall stretching back to 2018/19.

• Shakhtar dropped points for only the second time in the league this season on 1 December, when they were held 1-1 at Mariupol. The Pitmen responded by beating Olimpik Donetsk 3-0 at home on Friday and are now unbeaten in 46 league games (W39 D7), since a 1-0 away loss to Dynamo Kyiv on 3 August 2018.

• Shakhtar are 13 points ahead of second-placed Zorya Luhansk, scoring 48 goals and conceding only eight in their 17 league games this season. They face Zorya away this coming Saturday in their final league fixture before the winter break. 

• Júnior Moraes has scored 16 goals and provided seven assists, including one against Olimpik on Friday, in Shakhtar's 24 competitive matches this season.

• Taison scored a penalty at Mariupol to make it seven goals and six assists in 13 league games this season; he is yet to score or assist in six appearances in other competitions.

• Marlos came on as a second-half substitute on Friday, his first appearance since 6 November due to a groin injury, and went on to score Shakhtar's second goal.

• Manor Solomon (hamstring) came on – and scored – as a second-half substitute on Matchday 5, his first appearance since 2 November.

• On 2 December Taison was named player of the year by the Ukrainian Association of Football; Andriy Pyatov was chosen as goalkeeper of the year, with the pair being joined by Shakhtar team-mates Mykola Matviyenko, Taras Stepanenko, Marlos, and Moraes in the team of 2019.

• After earning their first ever UEFA Champions League win on Matchday 5, Atalanta followed up four days later by winning 3-0 at Brescia in Serie A. Mario Pašalić scored twice in a Serie A game for the first time, Josip Iličić adding a late third.

• Atalanta had scored two or more goals in every league match in 2019/20, and had found the net in 16 successive Serie A games, before drawing a blank against Cagliari on 3 November, the first of three consecutive games in which they scored one or less.

• Having twice come from behind to win 3-2 at home to Verona on Saturday, Atalanta still have the best attack in Serie A with 37 goals from 15 games.

• Ruslan Malinovskyi scored Atalanta's first goal on Saturday, the 11th player to find the net for the club in Serie A this season.

• Iličić limped off in the first half against Verona.

• On 27 October Atalanta equalled their biggest ever win in Serie A with a 7-1 victory over Udinese, matching their scoreline against Triestina in June 1952.

• Duván Zapata, who has scored six goals in seven Serie A games this season, has been out since suffering a thigh injury while on international duty with Colombia on 12 October.

• Simon Kjær missed the game against Brescia with a thigh injury and was an unused substitute against Verona.

• Atalanta were voted as the team of the 2018/19 Serie A season at the Gran Gala del Calcio on 2 December. Iličić and Zapata were both picked in the Best XI, while Gian Piero Gasperini was named coach of the season.

• On 9 September Gasperini was made an honorary citizen of Bergamo.