Real Madrid vs. Shakhtar UCL Picks: Los Blancos to Face Easy Contender

Nikki Adams

Monday, November 23, 2015 7:45 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 7:45 PM GMT

Real Madrid look to clinch top spot in Group A when they descend on Shakhtar Donetsk in match day 5 of the Champions League. Check out our preview and choice soccer picks for this anticipated clash.

Real Madrid Lead Group A
Real Madrid cemented their lead in group A with a 1-0 win over Paris St. Germain on match day 4, advancing three points ahead of their main rivals in the section. Now they look to sew up top spot with a win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the freezing cold of the Ukrainian city.

Real Madrid burst out of the gates in Europe’s top flight with a 4-0 win over the Ukrainian side at the Bernabeu on match day 1. They advanced their cause with a 2-0 win over Malmo on the road to improve to a perfect 2-0-0 start in Champions League behind back-to-back clean sheets.

On match day 3, things got a little challenging when they settled on a scoreless draw in Paris to the Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired PSG. It marked the first blemish on their campaign. Nevertheless, they bounced back with a hard fought 1-0 win over their rivals to push ahead in the table.

As it is, Real Madrid are the firm favourites at -120 soccer odds to win outright at bet365. You’ll find similar soccer odds at most sportsbooks, a soccer betting outlook underscored by their impressive run in the competition, conspicuous for its undefeated stand.

 

Shakhtar Donetsk In Over Their Heads
On the flipside, the Ukrainians have struggled in the competition, which also plays a part in this rather lopsided outlook. Not only did they go winless in their first three games, they were also shutdown. Real Madrid shipped four goals while conceding none. PSG shipped three goals while conceding none and, even, group minnows shipped a goal against them without conceding any. All in all, it was an abysmal start that saw the Ukrainians overwhelmed 8-0 and rendered pointless.

The only success they’ve enjoyed since was a 4-0 win over Malmo at home in match day 4. A dominating performance by all means, but over the established group minnows. So the takeaway is hardly encouraging.

Undoubtedly, Shakhtar Donetsk are in over their heads in Europe’s top flight. They are just 1-0-3 in the competition with three points, level on points with Malmo but ahead on goal differential. In all likelihood, they are in a battle with Malmo for a third place finish and a shot at Europa League action. Advancing that cause at the expense of group favourites in Champions League betting markets and current leaders in the table is a tall order. Fittingly, they are the massive underdogs to win outright at +300 soccer odds while the draw is trading at +275 soccer odds.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict
It goes without saying, this is a game for Real Madrid to win or lose. Given their credentials and undeniable quality in the competition, they really should win this game. And if their first meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk were any indication, it should be a dominating performance. As such, Real Madrid at reasonable -120 soccer odds to win outright practically leaps off the page as the smart soccer pick. What’s more, if the goal frenzy continues, it should push the OVER 2.5 easily.

Soccer Picks: Real Madrid -120 and OVER 2.5 at -167 at Bet365

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