Next week Shakhtar Donetsk will play Paris Saint-Germain in the second round of Champions League fixtures in the group stage. This is the first time the two clubs with play in European football against one another. The French champions will be looking to continue their winning form after opening with a victory on the road over Malmo.
The runners up in the Ukrainian Premier League began their group stage play last week with a loss of 4-0 to Real Madrid.
They defeated Fenerbahce at home in the third round of qualifying to move on the to the group stages.
Shakhtar has lost only three of their past 16 home matches in UEFA Champions League actions during group stage, while winning eight and drawing in five.
Their best performance in the Champions League came in 2010/11 when they played into the quarterfinals.
The French Ligue 1 champions won all four of their domestic trophies last season and defeated Malmo 2-0 on matchday one last week.
PSG has reached the quarterfinals in each of the last three seasons in the UEFA Champions League, but has been eliminated each time. They reached the semifinals the last time in 1994/95.
Paris Saint Germain is the class of Ligue 1 having won the domestic title in France three straight campaigns, with the past two coming under the tutelage of Laurent Blanc.
PSG will have a distinct advantage in this match against Shakhtar as they have much more talent and far more experienced at this level of play.
PSG’s top player Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he needs more play if he is to regain his top form. The Swedish international who is 33 received some very rare criticism following a sluggish start to this season for PSG.
Troubled by injuries, Ibra missed four matches in league play in France and only scored his first goal of the campaign Tuesday night in a 3-0 win against Guingamp.
In domestic play last season, Edinson Cavani the Uruguayan international outscored his teammate Ibra, and this season Cavani is outscoring him 5 to 1 in domestic action.
PSG will play on the road against Nantes on Saturday prior to traveling to Shakhtar to play next Wednesday against the Ukrainian club.