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Athletic v Shakhtar Donetsk background

Athletic Club are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for only the second time and they start with a home fixture against FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

Athletic players celebrate their victory over Napoli in the play-offs
Athletic players celebrate their victory over Napoli in the play-offs ©AFP/Getty Images

Athletic Club's second appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage – and their first since 1998/99 – begins with a home match against FC Shakhtar Donetsk in Group H.

Match background

• This is the first time Athletic have faced opponents from Ukraine.

• In 1998/99 they finished in fourth place in their group on six points. They were unbeaten at home with one win and two draws.

• Athletic have lost only one of their last 15 home European matches, winning eight.

• A 3-1 home win over SSC Napoli in the play-offs – Aritz Aduriz scoring twice with Ibai Gómez adding a third – put the Basque club into the group stage with a 4-2 aggregate victory. Iker Muniain had opened the scoring in the first leg for Athletic.

• Shakhtar were in Spain for matchday one 12 months ago, beating Real Sociedad de Fútbol 2-0. That extended their run of winning group stage starts in European competition to six in their last seven campaigns, and was a fifth matchday one success from six in the UEFA Champions League.

• They also won 3-2 at FC Barcelona in the 2008/09 group stage, their first victory on Spanish soil at the sixth attempt. Shakhtar's overall record away to Liga clubs is W2 D1 L5.

• Shakhtar lost the 2009 UEFA Super Cup 1-0 against Barcelona in Monaco.

• The Ukrainian champions, taking part in the group stage for the tenth time, lost at Manchester United FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in last season's competition, finishing third in the group on eight points.

• Transferring to the UEFA Europa League, they were eliminated in the round of 32, losing 2-1 at home to FC Viktoria Plzeň after a 1-1 away draw.

• Shakhtar's best performance in the UEFA Champions League came in 2010/11 when they reached the quarter-finals.

Player links
• Dmytro Chygrynskiy joined Barcelona in 2009, playing in a 1-1 draw against Athletic at Estadio San Mamés, and again when Barça beat the same opponents 4-1 at Camp Nou. He returned to Shakhtar the following year.

• Yaroslav Rakitskiy and Serhiy Kryvtsov played in Ukraine's 3-0 group stage defeat against a Spain side including Iker Muniain in the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final tournament. Mikel San José was on the Spain bench.

Match facts


• Athletic have scored three goals in both of their home games this season. They followed up their play-off second-leg victory against SSC Napoli with a 3-0 defeat of Levante UD on 30 August.

• Athletic lost 2-0 at FC Barcelona on Saturday though Ander Iturraspe did become the first player this season to have a shot on target against the Catalan giants.

• The Leones opened their Liga campaign with a 1-0 reverse at Málaga CF.

• Mikel San José made his debut for Spain in their 1-0 friendly loss to France on 4 September. Iturraspe earned his second cap.


• Shakhtar have won eight out of eight in all competitions in 2014/15, scoring 18 and conceding just once in the process.

• The Pitmen have gone 512 minutes without conceding a goal in all competitions, since Artem Hromov's effort for FC Vorskla Poltava on 1 August. Shakhtar trailed in that game until they turned it around with two goals in the last ten minutes.

• Olexandr Gladkiy has registered six goals in eight games in all competitions since joining Shakhtar from FC Karpaty Lviv, scoring on his debut in the 2-0 Ukrainian Super Cup victory over FC Dynamo Kyiv.

• Andriy Pyatov has made just one league appearance this season, with Mircea Lucescu preferring Anton Kanibolotskiy in goal.

• Shakhtar have scored at least once in each of their last 16 games in all competitions.

• Shakhtar have won their last seven away games, scoring 18 and conceding only twice in the process.

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