Shakhtar Donetsk – Basel
One between Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel will reach the Europa League 1/2-finals on Tuesday. These two teams will face each other at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen in a game from the 1/4-finals of the competition.
What’s interesting here is that both teams eliminated Bundesliga sides during the 1/8-finals of Europa League. Shakhtar Donetsk achieved two wins over Wolfsburg, while Basel also progressed after two wins against Eintracht Frankfurt. That’s a pretty good statement from Shakhtar and Basel – these two teams are ready to make a solid European impression this season.
Shakhtar hosted Wolfsburg in Kiev few days ago and they waited for the last minutes of the game to score three goals. The Brazilian veteran striker Junior Moraes put the ball twice in the net, while the Israeli international Manor Solomon also put it behind the goalkeeper Koen Casteels.
Shakhtar won the Ukrainian Premier League again, but now fans are dreaming for another achievement like the one in 2009. This was the year when their favourite team won Europa League for a first time.
Basel also made a solid statement by beating twice Eintracht Frankfurt. In the second leg at the St. Jakob Park the Swiss side achieved a 1-0 win. It was Fabian Frei who scored in the 88th minute. This season Basel finished third in the Swiss Super League, but now they have a chance to make a memorable performance in Europe.
In conclusion we could say that Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel look very balanced in term of quality. Both teams eliminated German teams in previous round, so they will have enough confidence when they face each other on Tuesday. They play on neutral ground, so it won’t matter that much for them. Maybe Shakhtar are the slight favourite here, but be aware of Basel’s qualities as well.