Celtic's five-year wait for a group-stage victory in the Champions League was extended following a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw on Wednesday.

A dominant first half saw Ange Postecoglou's side take the lead courtesy of an own goal from Artem Bondarenko, but Mykhailo Mudry's impressive campaign continued as he netted the equaliser.

That Celtic opener came after just 10 minutes when Josip Juranovic's clearance reached Sead Haksabanovic, who teed a pass through to Reo Hatate. His attempted cutback earned a deflection of Bondarenko and squirmed past Anatolii Trubin.

However, Shakhtar equalised against the run of play before the half-hour mark, with Celtic caught out defensively as Heorhii Sudakov sent Mudryk clear to smash high past Joe Hart, adding to his goal and two assists last week against RB Leipzig.

Chelsea have reportedly held an emergency call with new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to reassure him of his future with the club after Thomas Tuchel's surprise sacking.

Tuchel was removed from his position after Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener, in a move that will carry a heavy financial cost, according to reports from the Daily Mail and The Mirror.

Tuchel and his backroom staff are said to be receiving £15million in pay-outs, and Brighton are set to claim £20m in compensation after Graham Potter took over.

One of the main selling points for Aubameyang to come to Stamford Bridge was his relationship with Tuchel, who had coached him at Borussia Dortmund, and the Telegraph claims Chelsea's ownership group went out of their way to reassure the 33-year-old striker about his decision after cutting ties with Tuchel.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA OWNERS REASSURE AUBAMEYANG OF HIS ROLE AFTER TUCHEL FIRING

According to the Telegraph's report, controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Egbali addressed the Chelsea squad on Wednesday after Tuchel's sacking took place that morning, but there was also a separate individual chat with Aubameyang.

They reportedly told the signing from Barcelona that they "believe he can flourish under new head coach Graham Potter", and the Gabon international is said to have no second thoughts about his decision.

While he was clearly a player Tuchel pushed for, Aubameyang was assured he was "a club signing", and the report claims he "is thought to have been appreciative of the explanation".

In his one game for Chelsea under Tuchel, Aubameyang was substituted in the 59th minute.

 

ROUND-UP

– BILD has confirmed once again that Liverpool have their sights set on a massive move for Borussia Dortmund's 19-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham in 2023. 

– A report from Sport claims the rise of 18-year-old Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde has complicated the arrival of Marcos Alonso, who was brought in to be the main competition to Jordi Alba, but he is now behind Balde as well.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk wants a move to Arsenal alongside his Ukrainian compatriot Oleksandr Zinchenko, and that it could be possible in January.

– JuveLive claim Juventus are prepared to offer 22-year-old striker Moise Kean to Aston Villa in a straight swap for 24-year-old midfielder Douglas Luiz.

Chelsea dismissed Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday following their 1-0 Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb.

New Blues owner Todd Boehly wielded the axe after a slow start to the 2022-23 season for the London club.

Several names have been linked with the vacant post already, including Mauricio Pochettino and Graham Potter.

TOP STORY – VERBAL AGREEMENT IN PLACE FOR CHELSEA AND POTTER

Chelsea will formally offer their vacant manager role to Brighton and Hove Albion's Graham Potter, according to several UK reports.

Brighton had granted Chelsea permission to speak to Potter, with the two parties locked in talks on Wednesday evening following Thomas Tuchel's dismissal.

Ben Jacobs from CBS Sports claims that a verbal agreement is agreed between Chelsea and Potter, with Sky Sports' Rob Dorsett stating he could be unveiled as their new boss on Thursday.

ROUND-UP

– The Sun claims that Manchester United are ready to open discussions with Marcus Rashford on a new deal. Rashford, who has three goals this season, is contracted until mid-2023.

– The Sun also reports Wilfried Zaha is set to be offered a new deal by Crystal Palace. Zaha, who has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea, is into the final year of his contract at Selhurst Park.

Juventus are preparing for a straight swap deal in January with Aston Villa, which would see Moise Kean and Douglas Luiz trade places, according to JuveLive. Douglas Luiz's contract at Villa Park expires at the end of this season.

–  Everton and Arsenal both remain interested in Mykhaylo Mudryk but Shakhtar Donetsk want more than £30m (€34.5m) for the 21-year-old Ukrainian winger, claims Gianluca di Marzio.

Shakhtar Donetsk captain Taras Stepanenko said it was beyond his "wildest dreams" to thrash RB Leipzig 4-1 in their Champions League opener at the Red Bull Arena.

Igor Jovicevic's team became the first Ukrainian side to compete in the Champions League since the country was invaded by Russia, and they marked the occasion with an unlikely victory on their travels.

Despite enjoying just 32 per cent of the possession and attempting a mere four shots on target, Shakhtar scored with each of those through a Marian Shved double and further goals from Mykhaylo Mudryk and Lassina Traore.

Jovicevic's visitors finished with an expected goals total of just 1.2, compared to the 1.4 of Leipzig, who thought they had got back into the game through Mohamed Simakan's equaliser – only to fall apart soon after.

The defeat for Leipzig potentially leaves coach Domenico Tedesco's future in doubt, with the Bundesliga side winning only one of five league games, but this was a memorable victory for Shakhtar.

"I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams such a game with four goals for us. But we played well and I feel we deserved that result tonight," Stepanenko told reporters.

"I have been with the club for over a decade. This is a new team, but many of these young players are from the Shakhtar academy, so they have the Shakhtar spirit and this really helps us a lot.

"We are a tight group and have a lot of spirit. When I saw the draw, I immediately knew it was going to be a tough group, but I also knew we have a good team and should be able to get results.

"We want to progress, but with young players sometimes you are lacking consistency."

Shakhtar already have more points (three) and goals (four) than they earned in the entirety of last season's group stage (two points, two goals).

Their next task will see them face Celtic, who were 3-0 losers to reigning European champions Real Madrid in the other Group F game, but for now Jovicevic expressed his delight after seeing his positivity pay dividends.

"When the counter-attack for the third goal came and the ball was at Mudryk's feet, I already raised my arms in celebration because I know from training that he scores when he is through one on one with the keeper," Jovicevic said. 

"I tried to give this positive energy and it's all about being positive."

Shved became the 10th different Ukrainian player to score on his Champions League debut and just the second of those to do so while playing for Shakhtar – after Stepanenko in November 2010.

Jovicevic added praise for Shved, who also became the first Ukrainian to score a brace in the competition since Junior Moraes for Shakhtar at Lyon in October 2018.

"I know Marian Shved from my time at Lviv, and when Sevilla took him, I wanted him back," Jovicevic said.

"Now I am happy that he is back in my team. He is a hard worker, quick and powerful, and I know what he is capable of."

Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland will swiftly come toe-to-toe with their former teammates following Thursday's group-stage draw for the Champions League.

Fresh from his move to Camp Nou in the transfer window, Lewandowski will return to familiar surroundings with Barcelona and Bayern Munich – who boast 11 Champions League titles between them – drawn in a tough Group C along with Inter.

And another reunion will see Haaland come up against Borussia Dortmund, whom he left to join Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. They find themselves in Group G alongside Sevilla and Copenhagen.

Another heavyweight clash will take place in Group H, with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus set to lock horns.

Arsenal and Ukraine star Oleksandr Zinchenko believes the return of top-flight football in his home country is important for "all Ukrainian people" following Russia's invasion.

Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalist 1925 played on Tuesday to mark the first official game played in Ukraine since Russia's invasion six months ago.

Following that 0-0 draw, three additional fixtures took place and another two were initially scheduled for Wednesday

Football in Ukraine is not fully back to normal, however, with all matches played behind closed doors in the capital Kyiv or the west of the country, while air-raid sirens will also be used in the event of potential danger.

Sirens were heard on multiple occasions during the suspended match between Rukh Vynnyky and Metalist Kharkiv on Wednesday, Ukraine's Independence Day.

Despite the risks, Zinchenko believes allowing football to resume is a step in the right direction and can boost morale in a country that has been under siege for half a year.

"It's important for the country and all Ukrainian people because nobody was ready for this situation," he told Arsenal's official website. 

"People are still suffering and we need to fight every single day everywhere, but we need to keep going, live our lives and carry on.

"People deserve the lives they had before. I'd like to say a massive thanks to the Ukrainian Federation, and president [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy who said we needed to play our competition in Ukraine. 

"I know it's not going to have the best facilities, but we need to keep going and that's the most important thing for all Ukrainians. I can't wait and I'll watch all the games if it's possible.

"It's difficult for me to imagine how it's going to be. There could be a siren and the players need to stop at some point, but it's so important to show the rest of the world that the Ukrainian people don't give up, and in any situation, they carry on. It's all about our people."

Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalist 1925 on Tuesday contested a goalless draw that marked the return of top-flight football to war-torn Ukraine after a hiatus of 254 days.

The 2021-22 Ukrainian Premier League (UPL) season was due to resume for the second half of the campaign on February 25, but games were suspended after Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine the day before.

Due to the ongoing conflict, the season was officially ended in late April with no teams having played more than 18 matches.

It was then announced in July that the UPL would start again on August 23, coinciding with Ukraine's National Flag Day and on the eve of the country's Independence Day.

Shakhtar, who were top of the table when last season was suspended, began the new term against promoted Metalist 1925 in an empty Olympic Stadium in Kyiv.

Neither side had played a competitive game for nine months, with Shakhtar's previous top-flight game being a 2-1 win at Oleksandria on December 11, 2021 just before the winter break.

Matches in the new UPL season will only be played at stadiums with air raid shelters and every game will take place behind closed doors.

Air-raid sirens remain common in the country but no such alarms were heard during Tuesday's game.

Prior to kick-off, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the players via video link, and the national anthem was played live in the stadium.

Mykhailo Mudryk went closest to scoring in the stalemate, with the Shakhtar talent hitting the crossbar in an otherwise uneventful contest.

Shakhtar will now turn their attention to Thursday's Champions League draw, which they will enter by virtue of being top when the 2021-22 season was stopped.

They will play their Champions League games in Warsaw this season.

Manor Solomon has reached an agreement to sign for Fulham until the end of the 2022-23 season, after a FIFA ruling on Ukraine-based players.

The ruling stipulates that Ukraine-based players, who aren't Ukrainian nationals, can suspend their contract with their club. 

The 22-year-old scored four goals in 16 league appearances for Shakhtar Donetsk last season before the competition was cancelled due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Another FIFA regulation means that players who cancelled contracts with their Ukrainian clubs cannot be registered before the start of August, but Fulham have stated that they will be applying for an international transfer certificate on the first day of the month.

Shakhtar Donetsk have issued a demand for €50million (£43m) in damages from FIFA over lost transfer fees amid their player exodus following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Football's governing body previously ruled that foreign players would be able to suspend contracts and seek a new club in another country amid the war.

Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin stated that agents were profiting from the situation and taking payment for deals rather than the Ukrainian Premier League club.

The club have now appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"We had to do this because of FIFA's highly unfair ruling," Palkin told BBC Sport. "The consequences mean we will continue to lose significant income from deals we expected to close.

"We would also like to highlight that given the situation Ukrainian clubs are facing with the war, there has been little respect shown towards these clubs by FIFA.

"FIFA has not looked to protect clubs and at no stage consulted with us to find a solution - they have seemingly ignored the perilous state that Ukrainian football clubs have been facing since the beginning of the war."

FIFA's decision on June 21 gave Shakhtar and other Ukrainian clubs until June 30 to finalise sales before foreign players were able to unilaterally suspend contracts.

This has lead to several players allegedly halting pending transfers, before effectively being able to leave for free, with the club reportedly naming Manor Solomon and Tete as two such individuals.

"In absence of any reaction from FIFA, we will have no choice but to seek for damages compensation from the competent courts," added Palkin.

"I believe more meaningful support initiative to Ukrainian clubs is needed from FIFA."

Shakhtar meanwhile continue to train abroad, with the squad currently in the Netherlands, ahead of a hoped-for resumption of football back home in August.

Shakhtar Donetsk chief exectuive Sergei Palkin has accused football agents of exploiting the war in Ukraine to negotiate the transfers of foreign players, amid FIFA's extension of concessions for foreign players registered in the country.

Earlier this week, FIFA extended temporary regulations which allowed foreign players in Ukraine to play elsewhere. Shakhtar are a special case even within this context, with the club unable to play at their home of the Donbass Arena since 2014.

The Ukrainian domestic league was suspended in February, with a restart in August mooted.

Shakhtar's Marlos, Dentinho and Junior Moraes returned to Brazil in loan deals and Tete secured a loan move to Olympique Lyon,while Dynamo Kyiv's Vitinho and Carlos de Pena also left for Brazil upon the outbreak of armed conflict.

According to the Shakhtar chief executive, some agents have pre-empted FIFA's ruling by advising clubs to divert potential transfer fees for clubs to higher commission fees for agents.

"Some agents are destroying us. They are trying to steal players," Palkin told The Athletic. "They play games, contacting clubs, saying don’t pay us [Shakhtar] and deals are being broken. You cannot imagine what is going on.

"The power to decide on suspension of the contracts is now in the hands of players' agents. It doesn't reflect the club's intention to save players and investments."

Meanwhile, the only exception is if a mutual agreement is found between clubs and foreign employees by June 30, effectively compromising the bargaining position of Ukrainian clubs.

In one example, talented Shakhtar midfielder Marcos Antonio completed a medical for Lazio this week, with the Italian club set to sign him for a reduced price.

While FIFA's ruling confirms the argument of player welfare supersedes the financial security of clubs, Palkin believes it has only given added leverage to agents that already have a significant amount.

"We now basically have nine days to agree with our players their sale or loan to foreign clubs, which is just impossible," he added.

"FIFA has not helped Ukrainian clubs by issuing regulations. On the contrary, it significantly worsened our negotiations with players and made agents even more powerful and richer."

Benfica have announced the signing of Brazil winger David Neres from Shakhtar Donetsk, as the Lisbon giants move to strengthen their squad following the sale of Darwin Nunez to Liverpool. 

Neres has signed a five-year contract with Benfica, who have agreed to pay a reported €15.3million for the tricky 25-year-old. 

Neres rose to prominence during a five-year spell at Eredivisie giants Ajax, scoring 47 goals and supplying 34 assists in 180 appearances in all competitions. He impressed during their run to the Champions League semi-finals under Erik ten Hag in 2018-19. 

The winger left Ajax for Shakhtar last January but never played an official game for the club after the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the suspension of the country's top flight. 

Neres told Benfica's website he was thrilled to have the opportunity to play regularly again in a comfortable setting. 

"It is good to arrive in a country where everyone speaks Portuguese, and I am very happy to sign for the club. Benfica is a big club in Europe and in the world," he said. 

"Everyone knows how strong Benfica is and how great the club is. I am happy to have the opportunity to play football again, something I love. 

"I hope the adaptation will be easy. I lived five years in the Netherlands, where the language and climate are totally different. Here in Portugal, I have everything going for me and I hope it will be easier." 

Neres won all seven of his international caps during 2019, starting two games as Brazil won the Copa America, and will hope his move to the 37-time Portuguese champions can aid his chances of breaking back into Tite's squad for the World Cup in Qatar this year. 

Benfica have allowed another Brazilian winger to leave the club to facilitate the deal, with Everton – who has 25 caps for the Selecao – being sold to Flamengo. 

Real Madrid have signed Brazilian teenager Vinicius Tobias on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk until the end of next season.

The 18-year-old only joined Shakhtar from Internacional in January and is on the move again without playing a competitive game for the Ukrainian club.

Vinicius was unable to make his Shakhtar debut due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The full-back was able to join the LaLiga leaders as UEFA altered transfer rules, enabling clubs to sign up to two players from either Ukrainian or Russian clubs ahead of an April 1 deadline.

Vinicius will reportedly join Madrid's Castilla squad for the remainder of this season.

Shakhtar revealed that Los Blancos have the option to make the deal permanent.

The Ukrainian club announced on their website: "He will play on loan for the Madrid club until the end of the 2022-23 season. Under the agreement terms, Real Madrid also has the option to buy the player."

Manchester United's search for a new permanent manager continues.

The Red Devils parted ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last year after an underwhelming campaign despite the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ralf Rangnick has taken over on an interim basis, buying United time to get the right man for the job.

TOP STORY - MAN UTD 'SOUND OUT' TEN HAG

Manchester United have "sounded out" Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag through intermediaries with no formal approach yet, claims Sky Sports.

Ten Hag along with current Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino are believed to be the two lead candidates for the top job at Old Trafford.

The report claims the Dutchman would be keen to speak to United if they make a formal approach.

 

ROUND-UP

- Italian champions Inter are ready to allow Alexis Sanchez to exit the club in mid-year reports Calciomercato. The 33-year-old's contract at San Siro runs until 2023 but Inter are keen to get his hefty wages off their books.

- England international Joe Gomez will seek a move away from Liverpool at the end of this season, claims 90min, as he seeks more regular game-time, having been a bit-part player this term. Leicester City, Tottenham, Newcastle United and West Ham are all interested.

- Brighton and Hove Albion are leading the race to sign Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz from promotion hopefuls Blackburn Rovers, claims TEAMtalk. Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United and West Ham are also interested.

- Mundo Deportivo reports that West Ham are interested in signing former Barcelona, Milan and Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu from Udinese.

- Fichajes claims Wolves are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk's Pedrinho about a move to England, with players from Ukrainian clubs able to seek free transfers.

Ukraine are set to strip their former captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk of his record 144 caps and impose a string of further heavy sanctions as punishment for his ongoing work at Russian club Zenit.

The proposals were announced on Wednesday by the ethics and fair play committee of the Ukrainian Football Association, which accused Tymoshchuk of making a "conscious choice" that "damages the image of Ukrainian football".

Tymoshchuk, 42, was a Champions League winner with Bayern Munich in 2013. Either side of his four-year playing spell in Germany, he had stints with Zenit, and in 2016 he joined up again with the Russian Premier League club in a coaching role.

The Ukrainian FA (UAF) ethics investigators said that by continuing to work for Zenit, while Russian forces invade Ukraine, Tymoshchuk was breaching the association's code of ethics and fair play.

The ethics committee said in a statement on the UAF website: "Since the beginning of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, Tymoshchuk, the former captain of the Ukrainian national team, has not only made no public statements in this regard, nor has he stopped his cooperation with the aggressor's club.

"By making this conscious choice, Tymoshchuk damages the image of Ukrainian football."

It said it intended to ask high command within the UAF to remove Tymoshchuk's coaching pro licence and to request that public authorities remove his state awards and honours.

On top of that, it said it would request that his status as a winner of domestic competitions at club level in Ukraine be wiped, and for him to be removed from the official register of players to have represented Ukraine national teams.

Tymoshchuk won Ukrainian Premier League, Ukrainian Cup and Ukrainian Super Cup honours with Shakhtar Donetsk before embarking on his first spell at Zenit.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will be looking to seal top spot in Group A of the Champions League on Wednesday with a win against Paris Saint-Germain at the Etihad Stadium, having lost the reverse fixture 2-0 in the French capital in September.

Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid will also be seeking revenge as they visit Sheriff after the Moldovan outfit famously won 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on matchday two.

After losing their first league game of the season at the weekend, Milan must find the first win of their European campaign if they are to keep their hopes of qualification alive when they travel to Atletico Madrid.

Stats Perform picks out the key Opta facts ahead of Wednesday's Champions League action.

 

Manchester City v Paris Saint-Germain: Messi aims to smite Guardiola again

Despite failing to find the net in Paris, only Bayern Munich (17) have scored more goals than Manchester City (15) in the Champions League this season. The Citizens are averaging 3.4 expected goals per game in the competition this term; since the start of 2013-14, this is the highest per-game average by a team in the group stage in a single Champions League campaign. 

PSG are winless in their past three away games in the Champions League (D2 L1), and could go without an away victory in the group stage of the competition in a single season for the first time since 2004-05. 

Lionel Messi, who fired home a brilliant second in the reverse game, has scored seven goals in seven Champions League appearances against City, the second-most by a player against an English club in the competition after his own haul of nine goals in six appearances against Arsenal.

7 - Lionel Messi has scored more UEFA Champions League goals against Man City (7) than any other player, while his seven goals against sides managed by Pep Guardiola (two vs Bayern Munich, five against Man City with him as manager) are also the most of any player. Haunting. pic.twitter.com/wPAYIZTx2R

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 28, 2021

 

Sheriff v Real Madrid: Can Benzema keep up his form?

Real Madrid have won both of their away games in the Champions League this season without conceding a goal (1-0 v Inter and 5-0 v Shakhtar Donetsk), while they last managed this in three consecutive away games in the competition between October 2014 and February 2015, during Carlo Ancelotti’s first spell in charge of the club.

After their famous win in Spain this season, Sheriff could become just the fourth team to win their first two meetings with Madrid in European competition, after Liverpool (1981, 2009), Galatasaray (2000, 2001) and Benfica (1962, 1965).

One rather big obstacle to stop that from happening is Karim Benzema, who has scored in each of his previous three Champions League appearances (four goals), and will be looking to do so in four in succession for the first time since 2016-17. His brace against Shakhtar last time out took him to 100 direct goal involvements in the Champions League (75 goals and 25 assists). 

 

Atletico Madrid v Milan: Must-win for the Rossoneri

Stefano Pioli's side need a win to keep their slim hopes of qualification for the knockout stages alive, having amassed just one point from their four games, but the numbers do not bode well for the Rossoneri. Atletico Madrid have a 100 per cent record against Milan in European competition, winning all three of their meetings, which have all been in the Champions League – 1-0 away and 4-1 at home in 2013-14, and 2-1 away from home this season. 

Joao Felix has been directly involved in four of Atletico's previous five goals at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Champions League, scoring three times himself and providing an assist for Antoine Griezmann against Liverpool in October.

Milan have only won one of their past 16 games against Spanish opponents in the Champions League (D6 L9), beating Barcelona 2-0 at home in the round of 16 in 2012-13. Indeed, they are winless in their previous six such games (D1 L5), suffering defeats in each of the most recent four. 

 

Liverpool v Porto: Salah still a threat despite no jeopardy for Reds

Liverpool may have already sewn up top spot in Group B, but they will want to keep up their impressive record against Porto. The Reds are unbeaten in their nine meetings in European competition (W6 D3), with five of those games coming during Jurgen Klopp's reign (W4 D1). 

Since the start of 2017-18 – Mohamed Salah's first season as a Liverpool player – the Egypt star has scored 30 goals in 47 Champions League appearances. Only four of these have been penalties, with Robert Lewandowski (33) being the only player to have netted more non-penalty goals in the competition than Salah (26) during this period.

Porto defender Pepe could make his 100th career start in the Champions League in this game. In doing so, he would become just the second Portuguese player in the history of the competition to start a century of games, after Cristiano Ronaldo.


Other fixtures:

Besiktas v Ajax

5 – Besiktas have lost all five of their meetings with Ajax across all European competitions – only against Dynamo Kyiv (six) have they suffered more defeats.

4 – Ajax are one of only four teams with a 100 per cent record through the opening four matchdays of the 2021-22 Champions League. The Amsterdam side will be looking to become only the second Dutch team to win their opening five games of a European Cup/Champions League campaign, after Feyenoord in 1971-72.

Inter v Shakhtar Donetsk

0 – The previous three meetings between Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League have finished goalless, with all three coming since the start of last season. There have been 66 shots recorded in these previous three games (43 by Inter and 23 by Shakhtar), without a goal being scored.

2 – Shakhtar Donetsk have only lost two of their past six away games against Italian sides in the Champions League (W2 D2), going unbeaten in the most recent two – 2-1 versus Atalanta in October 2019 and 0-0 v Inter in December 2020.

Club Brugge v Leipzig

1 – Club Brugge have only won one of their past 15 home games in the Champions League (D6 L8), with that lone victory coming against Zenit in December 2020 (3-0). This was the only game in this run in which the Belgian side managed to score more than one goal, netting just 10 across the 15 games in total.

0 – RB Leipzig are winless in their past six Champions League games, suffering five defeats in this run (D1). The Bundesliga outfit have also conceded more goals in the competition in 2021 than any other team, shipping 17 in six games this calendar year.

Sporting CP v Borussia Dortmund

– Only Salah (3.01), Lewandowski (4.77) and Sebastien Haller (5.51) have accumulated a higher xG tally (excluding penalties) in this season's Champions League than Sporting's Paulinho (2.96), who has scored with three of his six shots on target to date.

– Without Erling Haaland, who is already ruled out of this contest through injury, Dortmund have managed just five goals in four Champions League matches (1.25 on average), compared to 20 in 12 with him in the side (1.7) since his debut for the club in February 2020.

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