By 90Min
September 18, 2019

It's Champions League time, and for Manchester City that means just two things: scraps with UEFA and games against Shakhtar Donetsk. 

That's right, this is the 449th time Pep Guardiola's side have been drawn against the Ukrainians, and it may be the most important of the lot, considering City's early position in the Premier League. 

But that's enough about dull old domestic football. This is about the continental side of things, and namely a stat pack, courtesy of Opta, that you can break out to really impress your pals. Cause there's nothing like stats to get the lads fired up for a big European night. Honest.

Here's your fill:


City vs Shakhtar III

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Yes, so the 449 in the intro may have been a slight exaggeration. This is actually the third - as Gabriel Jesus is kindly illustrating above - successive season in which Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk have been drawn in the same Champions League group. 

That makes it the first time that two teams have been drawn in the same UCL Group in three successive seasons since Real Madrid and Ajax were in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.


City's Record & The Shot Converters

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And how have City done against the Ukrainian boys, I hear you ask? Well, they've won three of their previous four meetings with Shakhtar, outscoring them by a whopping 12-2 in those games.

That's how.

They've even had a film made after their finishing abilities. 'The Shot Converters', starring Man City's 2018/19 UCL squad. Coming to a streaming service near you this Autumn. Directed by Michael Bay.


That's right, with a shot conversion rate of 17%, City were in a league of their own in 2018/19, and scored the most goals (30) as a result.


The Shakhtar Rollercoaster

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This is the ninth UEFA Champions League Group stage appearance for Donetsk since 2010/11, with 2016/17 their only absence. 

But that's not all. In each of their last eight appearances, they have alternated between successfully progressing past the group stage and being knocked out. If this run were to continue, they’d qualify for the Last 16 in 2019/20.

This is Shakhtar's rollercoaster. We're just riding it. 


Leaky Donetsk

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Now, if this stat was a rollercoaster, it would be straight, long and leaky. That's because the Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 16 UEFA Champions League matches, conceding 33 goals. 

Fortress. 


The Boys From Brazil

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No, not the 1978 film about cloning Hitler (you thought 'Jojo Rabbit' was problematic..), this is the story of Shakhtar in Europe.

Yes, excluding own goals, 79 of Shakhtar Donetsk's 124 Champions League goals have been scored by Brazilian players. That's 64%. With 85, only Barcelona have seen more goals scored by Brazilians than Shakhtar, while Braga (11/12 – 92%) are the only team to have had a higher proportion of goals scored by Brazilians.


Sterling Stuff

Raheem Sterling is a God. We all know that. But he is particularly all-seeing when it comes to Europe's premier club competition. The Englishman has been involved in seven goals in his last seven Champions League appearances (five goals, two assists).

That's seven in seven for the number se7en, baybee.


Jesus at the Triple

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Speaking of God, how about his son, Gabriel Jesus.

Bringing it back full circle, the Brazilian famously notched a hat-trick in the last meeting between the two sides - the three-fingered celebration pictured at the start was of course in reference to this, not wins in their last four games - in that 6-0 win. 

This gave him an admirable record: of the 73 Brazilian players to have scored four or more goals in the Champions League, Jesus has the best minutes per goal ratio, with a goal every 124 minutes. 

That's 81 goals in seven days, btw, which would definitely make Daddy proud. 

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