SportsShakhtar Donetsk, Porto Set For Crunch UCL Opener

Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto Set For Crunch UCL Opener

September 19, (THEWILL) – The highly anticipated UEFA Champions League group stage kicks off on Tuesday, with an exciting match-up between Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto taking centre stage.

Both clubs come into the clash after strong starts to their domestic campaigns but will be eager to make an early statement in Europe’s premier club competition. Shakhtar, the reigning Ukrainian Premier League champions, have continued their dominance this season, winning five and drawing two of their opening seven matches. However, their recent UCL fortunes have been less inspiring, with the club failing to progress beyond the group stage since 2017/2018.

This initial clash with Porto represents a chance to build early momentum in the competition. Porto, meanwhile, currently lead the Portuguese Primeira Liga as they target a 31st top-flight title. Buoyed by a quarter-final appearance in 2020/2021 and last 16 berth last season, Porto will aim to better those efforts this time around. However, injuries have impacted their preparations, meaning the likes of Toni Martinez, Pepe and Joao Mario will be relied upon to produce in this crunch tie.


Despite Porto’s pedigree, Shakhtar possess the attacking talent to trouble their opponents. The absence of key men like Mykola Matvienko and Lassina Traore is a blow, but the likes of Oleksiy Kashchuk and Danylo Sikan could expose any vulnerabilities in the Portuguese side.

While many are tipping Barcelona to top Group C, this initial meeting between two ambitious clubs could go a long way to determining who joins them in the knockout phase. With pride and points on the line, an entertaining contest is anticipated when the sides kick-off at 8pm local time on Tuesday evening.

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