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Celta vs. Shakhtar live: Europa League 2016/2017 - AS.com

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Welcome to live coverage of Celta Vigo vs. Shakhtar Donetsk as both sides face other at Balaidos in tonight's Europa League Round of 16 first leg with a 19:00 (CET) start.

Preview: Celta vs Shakhtar: Europa League Round of 16 first leg

The Europa League is back at Balaídos stadium in Vigo as Celta and Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar battle for a place in the next phase of the Europa League in a tie that holds no clear favourites.

CELTA

After recent Copa del Rey disappointment for Berizzo's men, the Galician side turn to the Europa League and will aim to ensure that they take a positive scoreline to Ukraine next week.

Last week's elimination at the hands of Alavés still hangs heavy with the Celta faithful and the Europa League provides an excellent opportunity for Vigo based outfit to salvage something from what has been a positive season for the Argentine coach.

Celta have failed to reap just rewards for their bright attacking style of football that has seen the Galicians carve out four wins, three draws and three defeats in their last ten matches but were dealt a bitter blow this weekend at the Calderon where late goals from Atletico were enough to deprive them of points in the Spanish capital. 

Celta made it through to the Round of 16 in the 2016/17 Europa League after finishing second in their group (Group G) behind Dutch outfit Ajax Amsterdam and ahead of Standard (Belgium) and Greek side Panathinaikos.

Eduardo Berizzo has a full squad to call upon and may rotate his side after the demands of last week's Copa del Rey activity.

Player to watch: Iago Aspas. The former Liverpool man is playing unquestionably the finest football of his career and will look to trouble the rusty Ukrainian defence.

SHAKHTAR

Shakhtar visit Baláidos in the Round of 16 in the Europa League with the sole intention of keeping the tie alive when they welcome Celta to their temporary home at the Lyiv Arena with the internal conflict in the country depriving the team of playing at their traditional Donbass Arena.

With the domestic campaign still yet to start in Ukraine, lack of competitive action is destined to be the greatest handicap facing Paulo Fonseca's side.

Shakhtar made the Round of 16 as top side in Group H after fighting off resistance from the likes of Gent, Braga and Koynaspor and secured a 100% group stage record with an impressive six wins from six matches.

Gustavo Blanco Leschuk is set to make his competitive debut in a Shakhtar shirt after his move from Karpaty with the 25 Argentinean born player hoping to cause trouble at Balaídos with his ariel presence.

Player to watch: Fred. The Brazilian player now in his fourth season with the Ukrainian outfit pulls the strings at the heart of the Shakhtar midfield.

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