THE Champions League last 16 first legs conclude on Wednesday night as Roma head to Kharkiv to face Shakhtar Donetsk. Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) shares his best bets.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma | Wednesday 21st February 2018, 19:45 | BT Sport
It is unlikely that many in England will be watching this game with Man Utd playing Sevilla at the same time, but that is not to say that this clash is not worthy of your betting time!
Shakhtar Donetsk play some fantastic football too, especially at home – despite the fact they are having to play in Kharkiv thanks to the sad conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting betting angles at play here…
Shakhtar Donetsk held a 100% record in their Champions League group games, beating Napoli, Man City and Feyenoord. Granted the Man City win was against a makeshift side as The Cityzens were already through, but that form cannot be ignored when looking at the betting odds.
The bookmakers make the ‘home’ side 7/5 best price favourites here, with Shakhtar winning 12 of their 15 matches in Kharkiv in all competitions. They are fallible however, with Dynamo Kiev and Oleksandria both picking up wins away from home.
Historically, Roma have played in the Ukraine four times in the Champions League and failed to score in three of those fixtures, so you can understand why they are big outsiders to pick up the victory with odds of 2/1.
Trends to continue?
All three of the Shakhtar wins at home saw them win but both teams score, which appeals at a best price of 10/3 with bet365. Roma have only lost three matches this season with both teams scoring however, and with Roma struggling for goals in the Ukraine, perhaps many will be backing Shakhtar to win to nil?
With Shakhtar to win and both teams to score landing three times out of three, of course over 2.5 goals also landed. Overs has been the case for eight of 15 home games in all competitions for Shakhtar and also in five of their six Champions League games so far this season. That Champions League bet is available at a best price of evens with Coral.
Hope for Roma?
Roma had won just three times in a run of 13 matches before picking up a 1-0 win over lowly Verona with 10 men. They followed up that victory with wins over the equally poor Benevento and Udinese. It has to be said that those trio of wins are hard to gauge as a turning point for Roma as all three constitute easy wins, but a winning mentality will help the Serie A side heading into this fixture.
With both teams to score looking likely, you would be hard pressed to find a better value bet than backing Cengiz Under to score at 7/2 with Paddy Power.
The Turkish midfielder didn’t score in any of his first 15 games for Roma, but has scored in each of his last three netting four in total. He has yet to play a Champions League game this season, but surely he will be unleashed in the Ukraine.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma – Over 2.5 goals and Both Teams To Score (11/8 SkyBet)
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma – Cengiz Under to score at anytime (7/2 Paddy Power)