Gent may be outclassed by Ukranian outfit
Shakhtar Donetsk are the only team in the Europa League group stage to have won all three games without conceding a goal and their impressive progress can continue with a victory over Gent in Belgium.
A draw would be enough to seal Shakhtar a place in the round of 32 but they are unlikely to be fearful of Gent, who they defeated 5-0 in Lviv on matchday three.
Shakhtar’s unbeaten sequence in all competitions was extended to 17 (15 wins and two draws) by a 2-0 league success at home to Chernomorets on Saturday.
They lead the Ukrainian standings by six points and their domestic title hopes would be further boosted if they can wrap up top spot in their Europa League group as soon as possible.
Shakhtar’s early December matchday six trip to Braga is scheduled for the same week as a tricky league match at Dynamo Kiev and their manager, Paulo Fonseca, would like to be able to rest key players for the second of those assignments.
While Shakhtar’s qualification looks like a matter of when not if, Genk are facing a tough battle with Braga and Konyaspor for second place.
However, the Belgians are going through a bad patch – losing four of their last six games – and are likely to be outclassed by Shakhtar for a second time in two weeks.
Another Belgian side worth opposing are Group C leaders, Anderlecht, who take on Bundesliga side Mainz in Brussels.
The section is one of the tightest with three teams – Anderlecht, Mainz and Saint-Etienne – on five points.
Anderlecht came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw away to Mainz on matchday three but could count themselves slightly fortunate after losing the shot count 16 to six.
The Purple and Whites have been going through a sticky spell in the league, losing two of their last three games, and are likely to be given another tough match by Mainz, who look the likelier winners and value at evens with the draw no bet.
2pts 21-20 Betway, Coral
Mainz draw no bet
1pt Evs Hills