Soccer Picks Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Viktoria Plzen

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 6:34 PM GMT

Advancement into the next round is there for the taking after a 1-1 draw in the first leg. Will the Ukrainians or Czechs make it through? Find out where the value soccer picks lie within the betting odds for this match-up.

Odds Overview

The Miners are favored back at home after earning a hard-fought draw in the first leg in the Czech Republic. They can be found at over -300 to win, which would subsequently put them into the next round of the competition. 

Viktorka can be backed at a huge price of +1000 or so, while a draw is currently trading at close to +475. You can find the rest of the soccer betting lines for both the Europa League and Champions League at SBRodds.com.

The First Meeting

It was the first competitive match for both teams in months, but neither side looked out of their depth.

It was really no surprise to see who the goalscorers were for each team. Stanislav Tecl put the hosts up 1-0 in the 62nd minute, but Luiz Adriano came right back and equalized four minutes later, with neither outfit able to find the back of the net from there on out.

Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk looked strong even in spite of their long layoff. After this Europa League tie, the Ukrainians will get right back to work in the league, where they currently hold a five-point advantage atop the table.

The last time we saw the Miners play a competitive match at home, they steamrolled over a talented Real Sociedad team in a 4-0 victory. They've had two friendlies at home since, beating both Zenit and CSKA Moscow 2-1.

Adriano has been the top goalscoring threat for the club, but midfielders Alex Teixeira and Douglas Costa and defenders Darijo Srna and Yaroslav Rakitskiy have also been constants in the starting XI for the club.

Who will make the biggest difference on Thursday?

Viktoria Plzen

Viktorka did well to hold a strong Shakhtar team in the first leg and they built off that result by overcoming Banik Ostrava 2-1 in the league three days later.

Once again, it was Tecl that was most influential, scoring both goals in the winning effort to guide Viktorka to the crucial three points.

We can find the Czech outfit five points behind league-leading Sparta Praha at the moment, but there's still plenty of time to make up the gap. With the way Tecl has been playing, there should be plenty of room for optimism around the Viktorka camp.

Getting that win away from home was key, but there will be a much bigger atmosphere to deal with in Donetsk on Thursday. Still, Viktorka has managed to win four of their last five competitive matches outside of Plzen, with the sole defeat coming at Manchester City.

Europa League Pick

Obviously the Miners have the advantage, which is most definitely reflected in the soccer betting odds.

It was a solid effort from the visitors in the first leg and they've put themselves in a great position to advance to the next round.

Donbass Arena seats 50,000+ loud supporters and we know Donetsk will be buoyed by the support. They've looked great at home throughout the campaign and we have a lot of confidence in them to take care of business in the second leg.

To get the best possible out of your picks, consider backing the Miners to win by two or more goals. We're expecting a good show out of the hosts here.

Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Viktoria Plzen 0 

Aggregate: Shakhtar Donetsk 3 Viktoria Plzen 1