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UEFA Champions League: Dinamo Zagreb vs Shakhtar Donetsk preview

Dinamo Zagreb, Shakhtar Donetsk, Champion League, Matchday 4, Preview
UEFA Champions League

Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk face off in a crunch Champions League fixture as both sides compete to qualify for the knockout stages alongside likely group winners Manchester City.

Zagreb won their last game 1-0, while Shakhtar romped to a 3-0 victory as the respective league leaders continued their domestic dominance.

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Dinamo Zagreb are four points clear at the summit of the Croatian top flight with a game in hand on the team below as they continue to assert themselves in their home nation.

They are the league’s joint-top goalscorers with 23 strikes from 13 games and boast the division’s best defence as well, conceding a miserly six goals in that time – less than a goal every other game.

However, they have more of a fight on their hands in Europe as Shakhtar competes with them for the second qualification spot in their Champions League group, while the loser will likely finish third and drop into the Europa League.

The pair drew 2-2 in their last Champions League meeting in Ukraine, but both will be eager to win outright at the second time of asking and put themselves in the best possible position to qualify.

Shakhtar are performing even better in the Ukrainian Premier League, boasting a 10-point gap at the top of the table after 13 games.

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They are the division’s outright top scorers, having netted a whopping 39 goals so far – an average of three goals per game – while also allowing just six at the other end.

However, they were unable to make the most of home advantage in their earlier clash with Zagreb and will hope to win in Croatia this time around.

Should the pair draw again, their subsequent results against Manchester City and Atalanta could decide their fate.

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