FC Schalke 04 will look to avenge their 2004/05 UEFA Cup elimination at the hands of FC Shakhtar Donetsk when they travel to the Arena Lviv on Thursday night (kick-off: 19:00CET/18:00GMT).
Schalke have been in intimidating form in Europe this season, winning four and drawing two games to top Group K ahead of AC Sparta Praha. Although Shakhtar have not played a competitive game for more than two months, Royal Blues head coach Andre Breitenreiter is taking nothing for granted.
"Shakhtar pose a great challenge," he said. "However, it is a challenge that we readily accept. We need to be combative."
Schalke are without injured defenders Benedikt Höwedes and Matija Nastasic as well as forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
- Schalke are undefeated in their last seven Europa League matches, whilst Shakhtar have failed to win in their last six games in the competition.
- Only Italian Serie A outfit Napoli (three) conceded so few goals as Schalke in the group stages.
- Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is only one goal away from a landmark 50 goals in UEFA club competition. Only 13 players have achieved such a feat.
- Schalke won the precursor to this competition – the UEFA Cup - in 1997. Since then Die Königsblauen have reached the semi-finals in 2006, whilst they reached the quarter-finals in their most recent assault on the competition in 2012.
- Schalke defensive midfielder Roman Neustädter celebrates his 28th birthday on the day oft he game.
Shakhtar: Kanibolotskiy – Srna (c), Kucher, Ordets, Rakitskiy – Marlos, Bernard, Stepanenko, Dentinho – Gladkiy, Taison
Schalke: Fährmann - Junior Caicara, Matip, Neustädter, Kolasinac – Meyer, Geis, Goretzka, Sane - Belhanda - Huntelaar (c)