Last week in UPL saw Kharkiv play host to the Ukrainian Clasico! Shakhtar were looking to get their first win over Dynamo after 4 consecutive losses, and boy did they get it! In a match played at a high tempo throughout, every tackle was laced with tenacity as both sides were determined to take away the three points. Dynamo dominated the first half, justly rewarded with a goal by Shaparenko just before half time. Shakhtar were far too off the pace and were lucky to not be further behind with Verbic missing some easy chances. 
However, with the introduction of Taison at half time, the game suddenly became a lot more even. He immediately made an impact, going on a mazy run past a couple of Dynamo defenders and squaring along the line for Junior Moraes to tap in. Verbic missed another chance in between Viktor Kovalenko’s 93rdminute stunner. Laid off by Moraes, just inside the area, Kovalenko finessed the ball into the opposite corner past the stretching Boyko. The Dynamo Kyiv keeper didn’t stand a chance. That result leaves the Kyivans EIGHT points off the pace and will now need to rely on Shakhtar to slip up whilst themselves beating the lower ranked sides!
Elsewhere in the league, Karpaty won their third consecutive away game, after previous wins in the league and cup. Marian Shved got the winner from the spot as the Lions edged out Olimpik Donetsk in Kyiv. ‘Arch rivals’ FC Lviv on the other hand, lost to Vorskla comfortably with young Najeeb Yakubu getting his first goal for the Poltava outfit. 

Oleksandriya claimed their second draw in as many match days after a resilient Desna snatched an equaliser late on to make the game finish 1-1. Donbas sides, Mariupol and Zorya returned to winning ways respectively, seeing off the two lowest sides in the league in the form of Arsenal Kyiv and Chornomorets. 

Mariupol piled more misery on Vyacheslav Grozny’s side and it looks like Kyiv city’s second club side are doomed to go straight back down to the Persha Liha. Zorya inflicted another defeat on Odesa, who remain just ahead of Arsenal in the league, thanks to their occasional luck of pulling off results against the likes of Dynamo. If there were two relegation spots, they’d also be nailed on for the drop after a significant decline since the start of the season.
What a week it was in Europe for Ukrainian teams as well. Shakhtar followed up their derby day victory with probably one of the worst performances in both their own history and the history of Ukrainian clubs in Europe. With Viktor Kassai ruining the event with an abomination of a penalty decision, the game fell apart in front of Shakhtar’s eyes. Man City showed their class and demolished the Donetsk side 6-0! We were in Manchester for that game and a more in depth look into the day as a whole will be coming your way at the start of next week.
On Thursday, it was down to the other Ukrainian sides to restore some pride and some UEFA Coefficient points. A Ukrainian team desperately needs to go far in Europe this season in order to help maintain their 5 places in Europe. 

Dynamo Kyiv were first up and they didn’t disappoint. They saw of Rennes with ease thanks to goals from Verbic, Mykolenko and Shaparenko. Many are calling it Dynamo’s best performance of the season and it would be hard to disagree with them, judging from some of the woeful performances Dynamo have given us previously. They returned to their group’s summit, edging Astana on goal difference thanks to the 3-1 win. 

Meanwhile, Vorskla welcomed Qarabag to the Oleksiy Butovskiy Stadium. An early penalty was awarded to the away side thanks to Bohdan Shust’s challenge and once the Azerbaijani club scored that, it remained difficult for Vorskla to get back in the game. Some fireworks and flares were thrown on the athletics track close to the 60thminute and this led to the game being interrupted for over 10 minutes. Upon the restart Vorskla just couldn’t make the comeback. It looks like Vorskla’s time in Europe this season will be coming to a close at the start of December. 
A correct result (WIN / DRAW/ DEFEAT) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns an extra 40 points.


FC Lviv v Olimpik Donetsk
Todos’ prediction:Having been comfortably beaten away to Vorskla last weekend, Lviv’s ‘other’ club welcomes Olimpik Donetsk to Arena Lviv. A hostile reception (by the few hundred in attendance) will no doubt greet Olimpik’s Oleksiy Hai after his recent comments depicting Russia and the Donbas from a pro-Moscow perspective. Both sides go into this fixture with only a handful of wins between them for the season. It will be a dogged and aggressive contest where spoils will be shared. 1-1
RESULT: 1-1: TAYLOR (27′) / SHYNDER (63′)
Desna Chernihiv v Chornomorets Odesa
Todos’ prediction: Desna will be feeling buoyant after their recent run of results. A draw against third placed Oleksandriya, a win over Mariupol and a narrow 1-0 loss away to Shakhtar make good reading for what is to come from the Chernihiv side. With lowly Chornomorets visiting the Gagarin Stadium this weekend, Desna will be confident of getting a result in front of their home crowd. 2-0
Zorya Luhansk v Karpaty Lviv
Todos’ prediction:Zorya have had quite the inconsistent season so far. Seriously underperforming in games that they’d have been nailed on to win in previous seasons. Rafael Ratao upfront has not been up to scratch, Hromov has not been the same since his return from injury and seeing off lower ranked sides has become more of a challenge. 

They meet perennially inconsistent Karpaty, who have in recent weeks strung together three wins on the bounce. Marian Shved has been pivotal in these performances and will look to impress once more this time round. Both sides are unlikely to keep a clean sheet, and with Karpaty being so electric away from home they will be looking to get something out of the game. However, Zorya will put up a fight. 2-2
RESULT: 2-1: Khomchenovskiy (16′), Hordienko (70′) / Shved (34′)
Arsenal Kyiv v Oleksandriya
Todos’ prediction: On paper this game looks to certainly go to Oleksandriya, who will be aiming to keep themselves a step ahead of chasing Vorskla and aim to push up towards Dynamo ahead of their meeting in a few weeks. Arsenal remain rock bottom, with mid season manager appointment Grozny, only picking up three points since he took over from Ravanelli. Volodymyr Sharan’s Oleksandriya is currently working like a well oiled machine. It may have no superstars or prolific goal scorers but everyone knows their job in the side. Solid at the back and possessing just enough quality from their midfield and Strikers to put away one or two goals. Should be routine. 0-2
RESULT: 0-3: SHASTAL (33′) , SITALO (81′) , KOVALETS (90+1′)

Dynamo Kyiv v Mariupol
Todos’ prediction: Dynamo will have forgotten about their last minute loss to Shakhtar after beating Rennes in the Europa League. However, they’ll need to refocus their mindset to the UPL quickly and avoid any European hangover. Mariupol should be a straightforward fixture, especially at home but as the Azov coast side showed against Zorya, if you’re not on your game they will punish you. They may ship goals, but fortunately they have competent attackers who are able to put the ball in the net. Regardless, Verbic and Tsyhankov will be looking to make amends for not scoring last weekend in Kharkiv and will be relishing the opportunity this weekend. 2-0

Vorskla Poltava v Shakhtar Donetsk
Todos’ prediction: Both of the Ukrainian sides who lost in Europe midweek, meet in the league! Shakhtar will want to completely forget about Wednesday’s exploits against Manchester City as they travel to Poltava, who were unable to convert their chances against an average Qarabag side. Going into this fixture, both teams have good records in the UPL this season, but it’s likely that one of these sides will be nursing a European hangover more than the other. Shakhtar welcome back Marlos to the fold and he will be wanting to come back in style before the international break. Vorskla will put up a fight but Shakhtar with an extra day’s rest under their belts will be the ones celebrating come full time. 1-2
Total scores after week 15
Todos v Guests
D2  L4

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