Shakhtar Donetsk vs Chelsea betting preview
Chelsea travel to Donetsk, Ukraine on Tuesday night to face Shakhtar in what could be one of the toughest games of their season so far. The two teams go into the game top of their respective divisions and without having lost a single game all season, both domestically and in Europe. Although Chelsea hold a higher status, Shakhtar will be no pushovers and will take some beating on home soil in freezing conditions and in front of a hostile home support. Choose a free bet for this match here.
Shakhtar Donetsk 2012/13 Champions League Results:
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 FC Nordsjaelland (Mkhitaryan (x2))
Juventus 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Teixeira)
Shakhtar have an excellent home record in Europe, having lost just 2 of their last 9 home games since the start of the 2010/11 season – the losses coming against former Champions League winners Barcelona and Porto. They have won the Ukrainian Premier League for the past three years and have started the new season with a perfect record of 12 wins from 12. However, it was not all plain sailing on Friday as they had to score twice in the second half to come from behind to beat Illichivets 2-1.
The man to watch for the home side is Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan who has scored 16 times this season, including a double against FC Nordsjaelland in the opening game of the group stage. He is already Armenia’s second all-time top goalscorer with 9 goals in 34 games and was named in UEFA’s top 100 players of 2012. I wouldn’t put it past Mkhitaryan bagging the first goal on Tuesday and the best price can be found at William Hill with odds of 11/2.
Chelsea 2012/13 Champions League Results:
Juventus 2-2 Chelsea (Oscar (x2))
FC Nordsjaelland 0-4 Chelsea (Mata (x2), Luiz, Ramires)
Following their comeback win against Tottenham on Saturday, Chelsea have now taken 22 points from a possible 24 to head the Premier League table by 4 points. However, they have yet to face either Manchester side and have had a relatively favourable schedule to start the season. This should not take anything away from Roberto Di Matteo’s side who have exceeded expectations to top the Premier League and have conceded just 6 times in the league this season – the best defence alongside fellow London club Arsenal.
Chelsea’s success so far this season is largely down to their superior midfield selection of Juan Mata, Frank Lampard, Ramires, John Obi Mikel and summer signings Eden Hazard and Oscar. Hazard has created 6 goals this season, more than any other player, whilst Mata has 5 assists.
Having played away from home 5 times this season, conceding just three goals – two coming against Tottenham on Saturday – proves that their defence performs as well away from home as it does in front of the Chelsea faithful.
It is clear that both sides hold serious firepower going forward and I’d expect both teams to get on the scoresheet on Tuesday night. Shakhtar have scored a whopping 45 goals from 15 games this season, an average of 3 goals a game, whilst Chelsea boast a similarly impressive record with 34 goals in 13 games. It would be surprising if this game ended without goals from both sides and expect an end-to-end game from start to finish.
In Chelsea’s last four games, against Tottenham, Norwich, FC Nordsjaelland and Arsenal respectively, they have scored eight goals in the second half. Meanwhile, Shakhtar have scored eight second half goals in seven games, suggesting that the second half will produce more goals than the first.
Finally, Chelsea have bagged themselves 4 goals in 4 games this season (4-2 vs Tottenham, 4-0 vs Norwich, 4-0 vs FC Nordsjaelland and 4-2 vs Reading), whilst Shakhtar have scored twice in four of their last six games. Comparing these statistics, what would normally be an unlikely bet, a 4-2 away win could well be on the cards.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan to score first, 11/2 with William Hill.
Both sides to score, 4/5 with Titan Bet.
More goals in second half, 11/10 with Paddy Power.
Chelsea to win 4-2, 100/1 with Stan James.
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Article by Jack Teague
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