Shakhtar Donetsk vs Wolfsburg Europa League preview: where to watch, team news

Shakhtar Donetsk host Wolfsburg in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg – all you need to know.

Shakhtar coach Luis Castro takes training on Tuesday
Shakhtar coach Luis Castro takes training on Tuesday AFP via Getty Images

Wolfsburg travel to Kyiv in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on 5 August at 21:00 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.

Shakhtar vs Wolfsburg: live build-up


Where to watch the game on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Europa League broadcast partner(s) here.

The teams

First leg highlights: Wolfsburg 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
First leg highlights: Wolfsburg 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
UEFA ranking: 18 (4)
Domestic position: champions (final match: 19 July)
How they got here: UEFA Champions League group stage, 5-4 Benfica
Last season: round of 32 (lost 6-3 v Eintracht Frankfurt)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (2008/09)

Wolfsburg (GER)
UEFA ranking: 41 (9)
Domestic position: 7 (final match: 27 June)
How they got here: Group I runners-up, 5-1 Malmö
Last season: N/A (previous campaign: 2015/16)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: quarter-finals (2009/10, 2014/15)

Possible line-ups

Highlights: Benfica 3-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
Highlights: Benfica 3-3 Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov; Dodô, Kryvtsov, Bondar, Matviyenko; Marcos Antônio, Stepanenko, Alan Patrick; Marlos, Júnior Moraes, Taison
Out: none
Misses next game if booked: Alan Patrick, Bolbat
Players added to squad: Yevhen Hrytsenko, Vitão
Players removed from squad: Artem Bondarenko, Ismaily, Mykhailo Mudryk, Nazarii Muravskyi

Wolfsburg: Casteels; Tisserand, Pongračić, Brooks, Gerhardt; Guilavogui, Arnold, Schlager; João Victor, Weghorst, Brekalo
Out: Otávio (ankle), William (knee), Mehmedi (achilles), Camacho (ankle), Steffen (suspended)
Doubtful: Mbabu (quarantine)
Misses next game if booked: Arnold, Brooks, William, Weghorst
Players added to squad
: none
Players removed from squad: Mamoudou Karamoko, Robin Knoche, Phillip Menzel, Yannik Möker, Jannes Tasche

Reporter's view

Shakhtar are 2-1 up, but Ismaily's absence with a cruciate ligament injury has left the short of a key man. After securing a fourth successive Ukrainian title in June with five games to go, the Pitmen used their senior players sparingly. In their only warm-up game to date, Shakhtar beat Veres Rivne 2-0 on Wednesday, coach Luís Castro saying: "Now we are focused on Wolfsburg, but we will keep in mind our overall goal, with is reaching the final." After a 1-1 friendly draw against fellow European contenders Leipzig, Oliver Glasner said he was "very satisfied" with Wolfsburg's performance, but winger Renato Steffen's suspension leaves a significant gap to fill.
Bogdan Buga

What the coaches say

Shakhtar coach Luis Castro: "They are strong in attack. In particular, when they get in the final third, they crowd the penalty area, where there are always a lot of players in position to score. This could create some problems for us. Any clubs that carry out dizzying attacks, try to quickly get to the opponents' goal, attack with a large number of players and get in numbers into the penalty area, can create problems. We know the strengths of Wolfsburg, but we also tried to explore their weaknesses. The main goal is to go further. If we get to the quarter-finals with quality football, but the match ends in a draw, it's OK! The main thing is to advance to the next round. Regardless of the result tomorrow."

Oliver Glasner, Wolfsburg coach: "We are facing a very experienced team at European level in Shakhtar Donetsk. They play in the Champions League almost every year because they win their league, and then they’re normally involved in the Europa League too. I don’t think Shakhtar will get nervous. We will try to point out our chances to our players. We know that we need [at least] two away goals, but we consider ourselves capable of that."

Previous meetings

Highlights: Malmö 0-3 Wolfsburg
Highlights: Malmö 0-3 Wolfsburg

• Shakhtar opened and closed the scoring in the first leg on 12 March, Júnior Moraes heading in after 16 minutes and 19-year-old Marcos Antônio doing likewise, with his first European goal, after 73 to win the game following John Brooks' 48th-minute equaliser – also a header, and also the Wolfsburg defender's first goal in UEFA competition.

• Shakhtar have now faced German clubs on 23 occasions (W8 D8 L7), the most precious win having come on neutral terrain when they defeated Werder Bremen 2-1 after extra time in Istanbul to win the last ever UEFA Cup in 2008/09.

• All of Shakhtar's last seven home games against German visitors have ended in draws, that run preceded by two wins, both when they represented the Soviet Union, and their solitary defeat – 0-2 against Borussia Dortmund in the third qualifying round of the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League. Their record in two-legged UEFA ties against German opposition is W3 L5, the most recent, against Eintracht Frankfurt, resulting in elimination from last season's UEFA Europa League in the round of 32 (2-2 h, 1-4 a).

• Wolfsburg met Ukrainian opposition in UEFA competition for the first time earlier this season, beating UEFA Europa League group stage debutants Olexandriya home (3-1) and away (1-0).

Form guide

Europa League: 2019/20 story so far
Europa League: 2019/20 story so far

Shakhtar
• Shakhtar won the Ukrainian league in 2018/19, claiming the title for the 12th time and also completing a domestic double for the third season in a row, which gave them a third successive appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage – and 14th in all.

• The Pitmen picked up just one victory in the group stage this season, 2-1 at Atalanta with an added-time winner on Matchday 2. They then drew three games in succession, two against Dinamo Zagreb (2-2 h, 3-3 a) and the third, 1-1, away to a Manchester City side who had beaten them 3-0 in Kharkiv on Matchday 1. They ended the section with that decisive defeat by Atalanta to book a fourth UEFA Europa League knockout phase berth in five seasons.

• The elimination of Benfica put Shakhtar into the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the second time. They were victorious on their only previous visit, overcoming Anderlecht 4-1 on aggregate in 2015/16 (3-1 h, 1-0 a) with Taison opening the scoring in the first leg in Lviv.

• With their 2-1 victory against Benfica, the Donetsk club ended a seven-game winless run in home European fixtures (D4 L3), though they won four in a row prior to that sequence – all in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.

• Shakhtar have won nine of the ten UEFA competition ties in which they were victorious away from home in the first leg, although they lost the most recent, against Celta Vigo in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League round of 32 (1-0 a, 0-2 h). Those nine wins include two after a 2-1 away success in the first game, both in the UEFA Europa League – against Braga in the 2015/16 quarter-final (4-0 h) and İstanbul Başakşehir in the 2016/17 play-offs (2-0 h), also their two most recent aggregate victories after an away first-leg win.

Wolfsburg

Ten of the best 2019/20 Europa League goals so far
Ten of the best 2019/20 Europa League goals so far

• A sixth-placed finish in the 2018/19 Bundesliga gave Wolfsburg direct entry into the UEFA Europa League group stage and a first European adventure since they reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2015/16.

• Wolfsburg made it three UEFA Europa League group stage qualifications out of three as they finished runners-up to Gent this season, six of their points coming against Olexandriya and four against Saint-Étienne (1-1 a, 1-0 h).

• Victory over Malmö put the German club into the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the third time, their previous two ties at this stage having both ended in victory – against Rubin in 2009/10 (1-1 a, 2-1 h) and Internazionale in 2014/15 (3-1 h, 2-1 a).

• Quarter-finalists therefore in each of their last three European campaigns, Wolfsburg are unbeaten in their last nine UEFA Europa League away fixtures (W5 D4), which leaves them just two behind the competition record, held jointly by Italian duo Fiorentina and Lazio. Their overall away record in the competition is W5 D6 L2, with no defeats anywhere other than in England.

• Wolfsburg have lost the first home leg of a UEFA tie on three previous occasions and failed to progress every time, most recently against Napoli in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League quarter-final (1-4 h, 2-2 a).

Links & trivia

• Shakhtar's Yevhen Konoplyanka played in Germany for Schalke from 2016–19. He only played once, as a late substitute, against Wolfsburg, in a 1-1 home draw in October 2017, remaining on the bench for three other games between the two teams.

• Wolfsburg's Swiss international Admir Mehmedi played in Ukraine for Dynamo Kyiv from 2012–13, appearing as a substitute in two games against Shakhtar and losing both.

• Shakhtar are one of four UEFA Champions League group stage participants to have reached the UEFA Europa League round of 16, along with Bayer Leverkusen, Internazionale and Olympiacos.

• Although there are no Portuguese clubs in the round of 16, four of them having dropped out in the round of 32, Shakhtar boss Luís Castro is one of four Portuguese head coaches still involved in the competition, alongside Nuno Espírito Santo (Wolves), Pedro Martins (Olympiacos) and Paulo Fonseca (Roma).

• Shakhtar retained the Ukrainian Premier League title with a landslide triumph in 2019/20, finishing 23 points above second-placed Dynamo Kyiv.

• Wolfsburg finished seventh in the 2019/20 Bundesliga, earning a return to next season's UEFA Europa League in the qualifying rounds.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Shakhtar's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L2:
1-4 v Club Brugge, 2002/03 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
2-4 v Young Boys, 2016/17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round

• Wolfsburg have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.