x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Shakhtar look for Abu Dhabi fixtures to provide Champions League warm-up

The Russian side will take on Zamalek at the capital's Zayed Sport City this week with one eye on their forthcoming last-16 Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.

Alex Teixeira, Luiz Adriano and Fernandinho celebrate Shakhtar's goal against Chelsea in the Champions League.
Alex Teixeira, Luiz Adriano and Fernandinho celebrate Shakhtar's goal against Chelsea in the Champions League.

ABU DHABI // Shakhtar Donetsk will make use of the Matchworld Cup 2013 in the capital city as part of their preparation in the meeting with Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League.

The Ukrainian side eliminated Chelsea in the group stage and will meet the Bundesliga club on February 12 and March 5 over the two legs

Zenit are pitted against Egyptian side Zamalek in the opener while big-spending Russian side Zenit St Petersburg face Saudia Arabian opponents Al Hilal in the other. Both games will be played at the Zayed Sports City stadium on Wednesday.

"This tournament has been successful in the past two staging in Dubai and it comes at a time when four teams from three different continents are preparing for the important competitions ahead," Marc Biolley, managing director of Matchworld Football, said.

"All four teams have arrived for this competition with their full their squads as it provides them the ideal platform in this format where the two European teams will play the Asian and the African clubs."

The Matchworld Cup was first staged in Dubai in 2011 in which Hilal shocked Zenit to clinch the competition. Zenit won the title in the following year, defeating the Uzbek Olympic team in the final.

Jorvan Vieira, the Zamalek coach, said a friendly competition was entirely different from a friendly game.

"We have come fully prepared and this competition would provide us with an opportunity to test our capacity and quality against strong opposition," the Brazilian said.

"The timing is also very good for us as we are preparing for the African Champions League. Obviously we want to produce a good show as there are a lot of Zamalek fans in the Emirates."

Shakhtar Donetsk will meet Hilal in the first match and Zenit play Zamalek in the other on Saturday at the same venue.

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