Shakhtar Donetsk v Tottenham Hotspur

Five presents a second night of live UEFA Cup action as Tottenham travel to play Shakhtar Donetsk of the Ukraine. This Round of 32 match takes place at the 25,000-capacity RSK Olimpiyskyi Stadium in Donetsk. Presented by Colin Murray with commentary from Tony Jones and former Everton and Wales defender Kevin Ratcliffe. Kick-off is at 18.45.

Tottenham’s rollercoaster season takes a new twist this week as their UEFA Cup campaign resumes. Harry Redknapp’s men have enjoyed mixed fortunes of late. They scraped a 6-4 win on aggregate against Championship side Burnley to reach the Carling Cup final, but crashed out to Man United in the FA Cup.

Tottenham’s Premiership campaign has been a bumpy ride since Redknapp took over in October. After a good win over Stoke, Spurs sit in mid table but are just a handful of points away from the drop zone. The manager made a positive impact in his first few months in charge, before Spurs suffered a six-game winless streak in the league stretching back to their draw with Man United in December.

Injuries have played their part in stalling Tottenham’s recovery. Among those queuing up on the White Hart Lane phsyio’s bench are Ledley King, Aaron Lennon and Darren Bent. To bolster his front line, Redknapp caused a stir by re-signing his former Portsmouth charge Jermain Defoe. The club agreed a fee in the region of £15million to reclaim the England international, who has knocked in three goals since his return.

Tottenham’s leading scorers this season are Bent and Roman Pavlyuchenko, with 12 goals apiece. In the UEFA Cup, Spurs finished second in their group to book a place in the Round of 32, chalking up victories over NEC Nijmegen and Dinamo Zagreb along the way. If they can overcome Shakhtar Donetsk home and away, a possible fixture against Aston Villa awaits – should Martin O’Neill’s men eliminate CSKA Moscow.

Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk make their bow in this year’s UEFA Cup having been eliminated from the group stage of the Champions League. Two wins over Basle and an impressive 3-2 away victory over Barcelona were not enough to stop the club finishing third in their group.

Shakhtar are a force to be reckoned with in their domestic league, where they have won the championship four times in the last seven years – including last season. The title is in danger of running away from them this year, however, as Shakhtar are currently fifth on 31 points – 12 points adrift of pacesetters Dynamo Kiev.

The Ukraine team play at the city’s 25,000- capacity RSK Olimpiyskyi Stadium, a temporary home while work is completed on the brand-new Donbass Arena. The new stadium, the first in Eastern Europe to be designated as a five-star UEFA venue, will boast 50,000 seats – 93 per cent of which will be covered. The $400million arena is due to open later in 2009.

While manager Mircea Lucescu has a new stadium to look forward to, he will put such considerations to one side to focus on winning this plum tie against a Premier League club. Lucescu took Turkish side Besiktas to the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup in 2003 and will be looking to improve on his record with Shakhtar this season. Returning from their winter break, the Ukranian side will also be more refreshed than their English visitors.

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