Soccer Picks: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Steven Suarez

Monday, November 4, 2013 7:30 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 7:30 PM UTC

Bayer Leverkusen won comfortably when these sides met up close to two weeks ago. Will the Ukrainians have it in them to return the favor on Tuesday?

Odds Overview

According to soccer odds the Miners are favored inside Donbass Arena and can be backed in the area of +105 to +115. That leaves Bayer at roughly +250 to win, with the draw a little higher at +275.

Shakhtar Donetsk

It wasn't pretty against the Germans two weeks back, but the Miners really did well in their following two fixtures, beating Zorya 4-0 in the league and then Mykolaiv 3-0 in the cup.

However, Shakhtar couldn't keep it going this past Friday, falling 2-0 away from home to Volyn, which left the door open for Metalist to take over the top spot in the league table.

We realize the Ukrainians had a lot of trouble in Leverkusen, but that doesn't take away from the danger this Shakhtar team possesses. They do have the talent in place to return the favor and get the three points.

It starts with Luiz Adriano, who's scored six league goals and will likely be the front man come Tuesday. Alex Teixeira, Fernando, and Douglas Costa are all excellent players as well, while the Miners can also call on the likes of Facundo Ferreyra and Eduardo.

After getting shut out by Bayer's well-organized defensive line, you better believe Shakhtar will come out with even more energy to try and get on the score-sheet at home.

Bayer Leverkusen

Three days after that phenomenal performance against Shakhtar, Bayer beat FC Augsburg 2-1 at home in the Bundesliga.

Down 1-0 after 24 minutes, the hosts had to battle back and they got the equalizer from Simon Rolfes. Then, with under 10 minutes to go, Emre Can scored on a header to give Leverkusen all three points.

Unfortunately, Sami Hyppia couldn't get his team up for their next fixture, a 1-0 away loss to Eintracht, a side that's currently tied for dead last in the Bundesliga standings.

It was a poor showing from this third-place Bayer outfit, but it can be explained. Hyppia decided to start Stefan Kiessling and Sidney Sam on the bench, while Heung-Min Son was also a substitute in the league loss. The boss knows how important these group stage matches are and was hoping to get his stars some rest. Unfortunately his weakened starting XI didn't respond.

Let's see if that defeat hurts morale at all or has the opposite effect. Perhaps this was the wakeup call Bayer needed.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":244354, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Champions League Pick

As different as it is to play in front of your own supporters in an extremely loud and passionate stadium, how can we pass up this kind of value on a team that's performing so well in Bayer Leverkusen?

Playing at home will obviously help, but we love what Sami Hyppia has done with this team and the tandem of Kiessling and Sam has been doing a lot of damage. Those two had three of the four goals in the first meeting and could make the biggest impacts again in this rematch.

The stakes are incredibly high, as these are the two teams that will fight it out for the second spot out of the group. When it comes to placing our final soccer picks though, we're going to take a chance and put our faith in Bayer at +250 or so to come out on top.

Soccer Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Bayer Leverkusen 2

comment here