Football

Why Shakhtar Donetsk can defeat a fragile Manchester United

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Last season Shakhtar Donetsk cruised through the group stages of the Champions League implying they are no push overs and they are developing in to a major force riddled with talent.

The orange and black troops reaching the last 16 stage was a huge statement. Navigating their way out of a group with Chelsea and the Italian giants Juventus was impressive even more impressive due to the fact they defeated a Chelsea team that had won the dramatic competition one year before. A 2-1 victory at the Donbass Arena over Chelsea was a shock for every face involved in football.

Donetsk went on to lose against finalists Borussia Dortmund. Although they were knocked out they made their presence known.

Since Shakhtar reached new heights in the Champions League, they resistantly found their best talent cast away, leaving cracks in the Ukranian outfit. These were soon attempted to be replaced with Shakhtar splashing out and spending an approximate £57 million on new recruits.

Shakhtar recruited the young eccentric Brazilian Bernard.

Bernard participated in Brazils Confederations Cup victory and found himself an option for FC Porto, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. However his destination ended up being Ukraine.

Arguably Manchester United themselves required a player with Bernards plethora of skills a fast, playmaker with heaps of potential. Bernard could well have been the marquee signing Manchester United fans desired.

Not only did Shakhtar attract Bernard but also fellow Brazilians Fernando, Wellington Nem and young Fred. All midfielders and all to try and heal the midfield departure of Fernandinho to Manchester City, Willian who now plays for Chelsea and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Borussia Dortmund.

Although Shakhtar's main threats depleted they have had a successful start to their Champions League campaign with an away win against Real Sociedad winning 2-0. Alex Teixeira scoring both goals.

Shakhtar Tactically are very good they usually line up in the modern 4-2-3-1 with their midfield being dominant. Their attacking threats will often occupy the wings but cut inside to bolster their attacking options.

Their manager Mircea Lucescu is well respected and has sat in the managerial position for the last eight years. Before Shakhtar, Lucescu managed Inter Milan and both Turkish giants Galatasaray and Besiktas.

During his time in Turkey he won the Turkish league once with both sides.

Manchester United also had a good start to their Champions league campaign with a win over Bayern Leverkusen. However Manchester United have not had a successful start to their Premier League title defence.

United sit 12th and have only gained seven points from six games. Meanwhile other title contenders Arsenal sit top on 15 points from six games.

United's most recent result was a 2-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion and was a disappointing display from all positions.

Moyes has been poor tactically so far, adopting tactics of Ferguson's playing similar players with similar formations with a less effective result.

Moyes needs to make his mark on the squad and introducing younger talent could be the answer. Young players such as Adnan Januzaj and Wilfred Zaha are developing fast. Introducing these faces in to the squad could be the move that Moyes needs to make.

Also Moyes has been criticised for not providing Shinji Kagawa with the appropriate chances. Many Dortmund fans this summer protested against Shinji sitting on the bench for Man Utd by starting a #freeeshinji trend on Twitter.

Shinji is arguably the playmaker that the Red Devils need and the answer to their prayers. However Moyes so far has ignored his Japanese midfielder.

United struggle to create chances has been for all to see so far this season and the only effective ways they have created chances this season has been through Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia.

However, Moyes' side have also been disappointing at the back. Conceding two goals at home to West Brom highlighting this problem. Losing to Liverpool 1-0 suggested that both on the attack and defensively United needed to step up their game.

So with Shakhtar's attacking threats and United's defensive problems, with their poor lack of form; Shakhtar have the advantage when the two sides meet in Donetsk on Wednesday night.

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Topics:
Football
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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