Soccer Picks: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Steven Suarez

Sunday, October 20, 2013 2:40 PM UTC

Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 2:40 PM UTC

All is well for Leverkusen at the moment. Let's see if they can keep momentum high with a good showing in the Champions League.



Odds Overview

As we would expect, the Germans are favorites for this European showdown at BayArena. They're at -115 to win.

A Shakhtar victory would give you a +350 profit, something worth considering, while a draw is on the soccer odds boards in the +275 range.

Bayer Leverkusen

He doesn't have much managerial experience, but Sami Hyppia has been doing wonderful things since his playing days came to a finish.

The former Liverpool stalwart has taken over at Bayer Leverkusen and has his side in third place in the Bundesliga behind the two giants in Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Since a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad in their latest Champions League endeavor, Leverkusen has posted a 1-1 draw with Bayern and then a 2-1 away win at Hoffenheim. As usual, it was Sidney Sam and Stefan Kiessling that got on the score-sheet.

Those two have been in mighty good form throughout the season. Sam has seven goals and four assists in domestic play, both of which are team highs, while Kiessling has six goals and three assists thus far.

Leverkusen's home form has to be encouraging to their potential backers for the coming week. They're undefeated in five matches at BayArena, while scoring 13 goals and surrendering only five. Hyppia's past in the heart of defense seems to be paying off in his new role.

See more Champions League Picks here~

Shakhtar Donetsk

So far so good for Shakhtar. They opened with a 2-0 away win over Real Sociedad and then tied Manchester United 1-1 at home. That puts them at four total points, tied with th Red Devils for first place in the group.

The Ukrainian Premier league has been very kind to Donetsk as well, though they do have some stiff competition in Metalist and Dnipro.

Through 13 matches played, Shakhtar is on 29 points with nine wins, two draws, an two losses. They're even with the other two contenders, but Donetsk's goal differential of plus 22 has put them in the driver's seat for now.

Luiz Adriano leads the team with six league goals, but Alex Teixeira, who netted both goals in the win over Real Sociedad, has also been dangerous, as have Bernard and Douglas Costa.

As you can see, Bayer Leverkusen will need to be wary of a formidable Shakhtar opponent that's scored 34 goals (and allowed only 12) in 13 league matches heading into this Champions League battle.


Champions League Pick

This group is wide open right now and Leverkusen and Shakhtar are two of the teams that will likely challenge for the second spot, that is if Manchester United get the job done and advance as the top seed as expected.

In the end, we do see a firm challenge being presented by the Ukrainian team, but we can't go against recent form. Leverkusen is playing great at the moment and the fact they get to play in their own building is just icing on the cake.

Sam and Kiessling have been quite a duo to start the season and we wouldn't put it past them to make the difference again this week.

Our best bet in terms of soccer picks is to simply take the home team and ride the positive waves that Leverkusen have been riding. At such a short price, it's definitely worth a go.

Soccer Pick: Bayer Leverkusen 2 Shakhtar Donetsk 1

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