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Shakhtar Donetsk v Gent background

Shakhtar Donetsk are unbeaten in seven European games in Lviv and have made a fine start in Group H, but they can expect a tricky game against on-song visitors Gent.

Taras Stepanenko after scoring against Braga on matchday two
Taras Stepanenko after scoring against Braga on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images

Shakhtar are unbeaten at home to Belgian sides and have made a great start in Group H under new coach Paulo Fonseca, but Gent are proving no pushovers this season.

Previous meetings
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.

• Shakhtar's record in ten encounters with Belgian teams is W4 D5 L1 (W2 D3 in Ukraine). That lone defeat came in the first of those games – 1-0 at Club Brugge in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in September 1995.

• Gent's only experience of Ukrainian opposition stems from the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where they lost 3-0 away and 3-1 at home against Dynamo Kyiv.

Form guide
• Shakhtar are on a run of four straight European victories (during which they have conceded just once), and are unbeaten in seven matches at the Arena Lviv (W5 D2) since a 4-3 reverse to Real Madrid in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Shakhtar, Southampton and Beer-Sheva are the only sides yet to concede in this season's group stage coming into matchday three.

• Winners in 2009, Shakhtar have advanced through both of their previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

• Gent are unbeaten in six European fixtures this term (W4 D2), and have shipped only one goal in their three away games during that sequence.

• Gent missed the cut in their sole previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaign, in 2010/11.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Donetsk to Gent is about 2,500km, though Shakhtar are playing home matches in Lviv, around 1,450km away.

• Shakhtar's Darijo Srna has played 140 UEFA club competition games, the highest total of any player in this season's UEFA Europa League. His nearest rival, Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimović, has made 130 such outings.

The coaches
• Paulo Fonseca took the Shakhtar reins this summer after Mircea Lucescu moved on following 12 years in the post. His Braga team were eliminated by Shakhtar in last season's UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, but went on to land the Portuguese Cup.

• Hein Vanhaezebrouck guided Gent to the Belgian title in 2014/15 and steered them into the UEFA Champions League round of 16 last term. He established his credentials during two periods in the dug-out of home-town club Kortrijk, for whom he had also played.