Live on Skysports 2: Wed 19.45: Barcelona are Boylesports’ heavy 2/9 favs to beat Shakhtar but maybe the Ukranians can keep it tight.
After sneaking into this year’s Champions League with two draws against Timisoara in qualifying, Shakhtar Donetsk have not looked back. Five wins from six in the group and two wins over Roma in the last-16 have set them up with a quarter final tie with the mighty Barcelona and ‘The Miners’ are 14/1 with Betfred to snatch an unlikely win at the Nou Camp.
The reality is however, Barcelona don’t lose at home. A 0-2 reverse to Hercules in September is the one occasion where they have lost and also the one occasion where they have conceded more than a single goal in 24 home games this season. A Barcelona clean sheet looks likely then at 8/11 (Ladbrokes) and immediately a ‘win to nil’ for Guardiola’s charges cannot be ruled out at 10/11 with Paddy Power.
But Shakhtar must take heart from the fact they have netted ten times in four away games in the Champions League, including one goal when they were thrashed at Arsenal – this would really suggest both teams will be on the score sheet (5/4, Skybet).
Couple Shakhtar’s decent away attitude with the fact that Barcelona have just tempered off in recent weeks, and you could have a close game on your hands. Only twice in the last ten outings have Barca won by a greater margin than one goal, something which could constitute bad form for them, so punters could profit from Stan James’ 13/10 about Shakhtar with a two goal headstart. Even if you are not tempted into predicting a result, Betfred will offer evens about Shakhtar just getting on the scoresheet.
Those who do like a correct score flutter should consider a 2-1 home win, 10/1 at 888sport, while David Villa is priced up at 10/11 by Ladbrokes to score and Eduardo, his opposite number, is 11/2 with Skybet to snatch a goal at anytime.
Overall, the game is unlikely to be the whitewash the odds suggest. Barcelona are 3/1 to edge this by just one goal (bet365) which would surely be seen as a success by the Ukrainians.