Can Ukrainian champions continue to proudly fly their flag across Europe?
Shakhtar Donetsk were very impressive in the Champions League group stages, starting on matchday one when they demolished RB Leipzig 4-1 in Germany.
The Miners then held Celtic to two 1-1 draws, and came agonisingly close to a famous win over Real Madrid, denied by a last-gasp equaliser.
Nevertheless, Igor Jovićević's team comfortably took third place, despite having to play ‘home’ matches in Warsaw.
Shakhtar famously won this competition in 2009, also reaching the 2016 and 2020 semi-finals, and, while a repeat of either seems unlikely, they’re simply determined to do a bereft nation proud.
Stade Rennais meantime came second in their Europa League group, below Fenerbahçe but above AEK Larnaca and Dynamo Kyiv, despite going through the campaign unbeaten.
This is les Rouge et Noir’s fifth successive season in UEFA competition, by far the most successful period of the club’s 121-year history.
In this period, their sole knockout phase win came in 2019 over Real Betis, dumped out by Leicester City 12 months ago.
However, given that Rennes have lost just one of their last 16 European fixtures, Bruno Génésio’s side could take some stopping.
Who will claim a first leg advantage at Stadion Wojska Polskiego?
Shakhtar Donetsk team news
This’ll be Shakhtar Donetsk’s first competitive fixture since 23 November, and they’ve been significantly weakened since then.
Talisman Mykhaylo Mudryk has been sold to Chelsea for €90 million; he scored three of their eight group stage goals.
Star centre-back Mykola Matvienko is still at the club though, while the main attacking burden will be on Lassina Traoré's shoulders.
Right-back Giorgi Gocholeishvili and Kevin Kelsy could make their debuts, after arriving from Saburtalo Tbilisi and Boston River respectively.
Stade Rennais team news
Joe Rodon and Djed Spence will feature in Rennes’ defence; both are on loan from Tottenham.
37 year old goalkeeper Steve Mandanda will make his 107th appearance in a UEFA club competition.
At the other end of the field, Jérémy Doku and Karl Toko Ekambi could be out-wide, looking to supply strike duo Arnaud Kalimuendo and Amine Gouiri.