Given their complete and utter domination of their domestic league, as well as their impressive draw away to Juventus in the most recent round of Champions League play, Shakhtar Donetsk have every reason to believe that they are as good as their Group E foes and capable of sealing a knockout stage place. They have as many points as Chelsea at the moment, and if the result is a draw on Tuesday, the three big sides will likely all end up tied on five points halfway through the group stage.
The biggest matchup of the day, much like Shakhtar's match against Juventus, will involve Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Shakhtar attacking midfielder has been the player of the year so far in Ukraine and was incredibly unlucky not to score on four separate occasions against Juventus, all while he was given the job of pressuring Andrea Pirlo. His athleticism and work rate should give Chelsea plenty to think about in defense.
Going in the other direction, Shakhtar need to figure out how to deal with Chelsea's attacking trio of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard, who have terrorized all of their opponents when they've played as a group this season. Shakhtar certainly have the central midfielders to match them, but Fernandinho in particular was very aggressive against Juventus and likes to get forward. It will be important for the hosts that he doesn't get caught too far up the pitch on a Chelsea counter attack.
Shakhtar Donetsk injuries and suspensions
Chelsea injuries and suspensions
Remarkably, both managers have full squads to pick from. Neither side is reporting any injuries.
Match Date/Time: 9:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Donbass Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine
TV: FOX Soccer Plus (U.S.), Sportsnet World (Canada), Sky Sports 4 (U.K.), Kanal 5 Ukrania (Ukraine)
Online: FOX Soccer 2 Go (U.S.)