Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 21 December 2017
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
Regardless of what Shakhtar Donetsk do in the remainder of the Champions League this season, they already are the team that eliminated no other than mighty Napoli, which deserves a… medal in its own right. On Friday they played their first official match since December 10. They thrashed Chornomorets 5-0, staying three points above Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine’s championship (having played an extra game, though). At this point, it’s not news that they are playing in Kharkiv, the city they chose since over a year ago as their new home, after spending a good deal of time in Lviv. No one knows when they will be able to return to Donetsk, to their fantastic stadium, which, just like the city and the whole region actually, has been off-limits for some years now. Facundo Ferreyra scored two of their goals last Friday, and talking to the Press ahead of the game against Roma he joked, saying how relieved he is that Totti is no longer playing for the Italian side.
Third consecutive win for Roma last weekend, this time away from home over Udinese, 2-0, three more points in Italy’s Serie A that have them third, far behind Napoli and Juventus, but still, third. Diego Perotti not only returned to action, but he scored their second goal in added time. Daniele De Rossi is another player who reappeared, which is good news for Roma’s coach Eusebio di Francesco. On the other hand, French defensive midfielder Maxime Gonalons didn’t travel to Ukraine. Newly-arrived (he signed for them last month) Jonathan also stayed back, as did Dutch right-back Rick Karsdorp. All three are injured. Roma are in their best form since November, their timing feels perfect, but Napoli have already gotten shocked in Kharkiv this season, and that should act as an alarm for Edin Dzeko and his teammates.
Previous five matches:
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Chornomorets 5-0
Shakhtar Donetsk vs AIK 2-0
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Jiangsu Suning 0-1
Slavia Prague vs Shakhtar Donetsk 2-3
Shakhtar Donetsk vs FC Copenhagen 1-2
Udinese vs Roma 0-2
Roma vs Benevento 5-2
Hellas Verona vs Roma 0-1
Roma vs Sampdoria 0-1
Sampdoria vs Roma 1-1
Shakhtar’s next game is on Sunday, in Kharkiv, against Zirka (Ukraine Premier League). Roma are hosting AC Milan on Sunday (Italy Serie A).
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma: Head to head Stats
Shakhtar have hosted Roma twice before. In 2006 they beat them 1-0, and in 2011 they beat them again, 3-0.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma: Prediction
Shakhtar are considered slight favourites to win the game. Personally, I’m leaving winners and losers aside, focusing on goals instead.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma: Betting Tips
“Both teams to score”, at 1.80, is my main tip. Pushing it a bit, I would bet on “over 2.5 combined goals”, at 2.05, mostly because Shakhtar are one of the two contestants, a team that absolutely loves attacking (sort of neglecting their defence occasionally).
More UEFA Champions League betting tips and match previews: