A Champions League matchup of the top two teams in Group E sees Shakhtar Donetsk taking on Chelsea. It's still early on in the league's play, but being on their home pitch, Shakhtar needs a win in this match. If not, Chelsea could take an early lead in the group standings, and would be tough to catch moving forward.
Both clubs enter the match relatively healthy, and matching up quite evenly with one another. More than any in Group E thus far, this is the match to watch.
Where: Donbass Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine.
When: Tuesday, October 23, 2:45 p.m. EST.
TV/Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
Through two games of Champions League play, the defending Champion, Chelsea, has just one win and one draw. The win came in impressive fashion, with a 4-0 victory against the home club Nordsjaelland.
Through eight Premier League games though in 2012, Chelsea is undefeated, having posted seven wins and just one draw.
Key to their success in both league's has been the play of Juan Mata. In his last five total games, Mata has tallied six goals, including two in the October 10th win over Nordsjaelland. While Shakhtar will look key in on him on defense, he has proven to be a difficult man to mark.
With Peter Cech as their goal keeper, who has long been considered among the world's best, the defense is always at an advantage. Should Chelsea continue to score at the same rate that they have as of late, winning five of seven Premier League matches by at least a two goal margin, a win would become all the more likely.
While many would likely consider Shakhtar an underdog in this match, their sheer dominance of late makes it all the more intriguing.
Thus far in Champions League play, they sport the same 1-1-0 record as Chelsea, defeating and drawing with the same opponents.
In the Ukraine Premier League, Shakhtar has dominated the competition. They currently sit atop the standings with a perfect 12-0-0 record, having outscored their opponents by an incredible margin of 38-6.
Facing off against the defending Champion Chelsea club is a giant leap up in competition, but with the way Shakhtar has been playing, the upset remains possible. Earning the win would give them sole possession of first place in Group E, and would force Chelsea and the rest of the teams to play catch up as the League play moves forward.
A close game, but Chelsea emerges with a key 2-1 victory, taking full control of the Group E standings.