UCL Soccer Pick Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Bayern Munich: Guardiola's Lineup with Great Betting Value Over Miners

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:47 PM GMT

It really doesn't matter that Bayern will be away from home in the first leg of their encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk. They're the heavy odds-on favorites at the top sportsbooks and should get the win.

Odds Overview
Depending on which sportsbook you use, the Bavarians are favored in the -250 to -275 range, which in turn leaves Shakhtar Donetsk as a massive +750 to +850 underdog on the soccer betting odds board. A draw is quoted at +400 and is therefore also considered a pretty big longshot to come through. Keep checking back with odds board at SBR in order to get the best possible value out there.

 

Shakhtar Donetsk
The Miners, as they're affectionally referred to, no doubt benefitted from a relatively easy group during the Champions League group stages, but they still had to go out there and take care of business. They did just that and as such have found themselves in the final 16, though they're tasked with the unenviable position of facing off with Bayern.

In terms of league play, Shakhtar Donetsk currently finds themselves in second place in the Ukrainian Premier League. They're only behind Dynamo Kyiv right now (five points), so they're still very much in the running. Aleksandr Gladkiy, Alex Teixeira and Luiz Adrian have combined for 16 league goals thus far.

In terms of recent form, the Miners have had to schedule some club friendlies, as we've reached the Winter break in the league. Recent results have been decent but nothing special. They've gone unbeaten over their last three matches, beating Internacional and AaB while drawing with Dinamo Zagreb (1-1). There's no doubt Donetsk needs as much warmup and preparation as possible in order to get ready for this visit of Pep Guardiola's Bayern.

 

Bayern Munich
After an awful 4-1 loss to Wolfsburg and a 1-1 draw with Schalke, the Bavarians have responded nicely, beating Stuttgart 2-0 away from home and then absolutely tearing Hamburg apart 8-0 at home, both of which were league wins. Bayern holds an eight-point advantage atop the Bundesliga now and it seems all but a formality that they'll be defending their league title once more.

As much as Bayern would love to win the Bundesliga again, they have their sets sight on a Champions League trophy after last year's embarrassing exit at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid. The Bavarians have been dominant in this season's campaign, winning six of their seven matches out right - their only loss came away to Manchester City. 

In the recent demolition of Hamburg, everyone got in on the scoring action. Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze and Arjen Robben scored twice and Franck Ribery and Robert Lewandowski both got their names on the scoresheet too. It was as ruthless as the Bavarians have looked in quite some time and it's a showing that couldn't have come at a better time. They're going to be confident heading into this battle with the Ukrainians.

 

Champions League Pick
With the way Bayern's playing, there's simply no way we can recommend a  play against them. The Bavarians are coming off one of their most dominant performances of the season and will be fancying their chances of carrying that momentum over into Tuesday's match.

Shakhtar has talent - you don't reach the last 16 of the Champions League by accident - and will have the added advantage of being at home, but the disparity in quality should prove too much to overcome for the hosts.

So, even though we should expect a crazy crowd in Donetsk, we think Bayern's class will shine through at the end of the day. With your soccer picks, you may want to pick the Bavarians to win by two or more goals, that is if you want to get more bang for your buck.

Prediction : Shakhtar Donetsk 0 Bayern Munich 2 

Free Soccer Pick: Bayern Munich -2

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