Champions League Preview (Group Stage): Athletic Bilbao vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

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Updated: September 10, 2014
Athletic Bilbao

Match Date: 17 September 2014 (local time)

Venue: Estádio de San Mames

 

Athletic Bilbao shall have its first stint in the Champions League this season and as they debut, it is only fitting to expect prowess and grit. The Spanish outfit is on cloud nine as of the moment due to their success in the qualifying round. But they need to maintain such success instead of making it a short-lived one. Athletic should not forget that they are up against a more experienced Shakhtar Donetsk and they could readily use to advance easily.

 

The contenders

Athletic Bilbao

So far, Athletic’s best performances in the European competition were finishing as Europa League runners-up in 1977 and 2012. Its appearance in the Champions League is its first and certainly, this will require tons of adjustments in order for them to fare well.

 

Athletic had a slow start in the domestic league when it debuted the season with a loss. Nevertheless, the squad made a comeback when it snatched a 3-0 loss against Levante. The win could serve as a morale boost to the online betting favorite and eventually overcome the attacks of its upcoming opponent.

 

Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakthar Donetsk has a Europa League title to boast in the upcoming match. As mentioned, they can use their experience to their advantage. However, they need to be more cautious as they are up against a squad that will do anything to advance to the latter stages of the competition.

 

Possible head turners

Expect Luiz Adriano and Darijo Srna of Shakhtar Donetsk to step up in the match. Adriano has been leading the squad’s scoring  spree whilst Srna is one tough defender that Athletic has to beat.

 

Prediction

Athletic 2 – 1 Shakhtar Donetsk

 

Image Source: Via Play