Shakhtar Donetsk have become a home for some of South America's -- and particularly Brazil's -- best young talent in recent years, serving as a bridge into European football for potential greats. Backed with inordinate sums of cash and able to gamble on blooding youngsters in a relatively uncompetitive league, they've reaped the rewards of impressive showings both domestically and in Europe.
Having continued the trend with the signings of South American youngsters Fernando, Fred, Bernard and Facundo Ferreyra this summer, Shakhtar are an ever-exciting team to follow. Knocked out only by eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund in last season's first Champions League knockout round, the Ukrainian champions definitely have the potential to upset the odds against United on Wednesday.
With Manchester United still unpredictable under David Moyes -- suffering defeat to West Brom in their last Premier League match -- there's an added vulnerability to the Red Devils which could be exploited. However, Shakhtar will have to do without their recent signing Wellington Nem, while United only have the long-term absentee Darren Fletcher unavailable. The visitors are favourites heading in, though this game is far from a foregone conclusion.
Shakhtar Donetsk injuries and suspensions
Out: Wellington Nem (knee). In doubt: None (thigh).
Manchester United injuries and suspensions
Out: Darren Fletcher (illness). In doubt: None.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Andriy Pyatov; Vyacheslav Shevchuk, Yaroslav Rakytskiy, Oleksandr Kucher, Dario Srna; Tomáš Hübschman, Fernando; Taison, Alex Teixeira, Douglas Costa; Luiz Adriano
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 9:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Donbass Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine
TV: Fox Sports 1 (U.S.), Sportsnet World (Canada), Sky Sports 4/HD (U.K.), Futbol+ (Ukraine)
Online: Fox Soccer 2Go (U.S.), Sportsnet World Online (Canada)