Racing Genk vs Shakhtar Donetsk Preview 03/08/2021
Shakhtar Donetsk enter the Champions League at the third qualifying round and will aim to make the tournament proper just as they did last season.
Stading in their way at the first hurdle is Belgium’s Genk, who also enter to tournament at the third qualifying round stage. These teams have not met previously in European competition and Tuesday night’s first leg will be their first game against one another.
Both clubs have begun their domestic campaigns. The form of the two has been contrasting as Shakhtar Donetsk have tallied back-to-back wins in the Ukrainian Premier League. Meanwhile, Genk are winless in the Belgian Pro League.
Shakhtar Donetsk defeated Inhulets and FC Lviv by a combined 5-1 scoreline. Genk, on the other hand, fell 4-3 to Oostende at the weekend in a thriller. Prior to the loss Genk drew 1-1 with Standard Liege.
Thus far, things have not gone well for manager John van den Brom, but he will hope Genk can turn things around on Tuesday at home.
Shakhtar Donetsk is now under the management of Robert De Zerbi. He signed a two-year contract with the club after coaching at Serie A’s Sassuolo. Last season, the Miners had a brilliant group stage campaign against Europe’s heavyweights.
They defeated Real Madrid home and away in the Champions League group stage. They also drew twice with Serie A winners Inter Milan. It was the team’s form against Borussia Monchengladbach that ultimately led to them not qualifying for the knockout stage.
Van den Brom took over Genk in November of last year. His work as coach led the team to a second-place finish behind champions Club Brugge. Van den Brom will be judged on whether he can get the team into the Champions League group stage.
Genk led the Belgian Pro League in goals last season. Nigeria striker Paul Onuachu scred a brilliant 35 goals in all competitions. Genk are a team that scores goals, but one that concedes them in equal measure as last weekend’s 4-3 loss to Oostende shows.
Onuachu is struggling currently in the league and his poor performances could translate over the Champions League on Tuesday. Cyriel Dessers could be preferred in place of Onuachu.
De Zerbi has no noteable or fresh injuries going into the game on Tuesday. With Genk struggling and capable of conceding goals, Shakhtar Donetsk should get the win.
The match could be a high-scoring affair with over 2.5 goals going into the back of the net.