Reason For Betting Tips
This is a re-match of last season’s Quarter Final which Shakhtar won convincingly. They won both legs and were 4-0 winners when the sides met in Ukraine, so it’s no surprise that they are clear favourites to win this match too.
Shakhtar have made a good start to the season and are already 5 points clear at the top of their domestic league. They’ve won 8 of their 9 league games so far and come into this match following an easy 3-0 home win against Volyn. They are still playing their home games in L’viv as the conflict rumbles on in Eastern Ukraine but they have turned their adopted home into something of a fortress. They would have had hopes of competing in the Champions League right now but a penalty shoot-out defeat in a qualifier against Young Boys put paid to that. Since entering the Europa League they’ve won all 3 games though, all against Turkish opposition, including a 1-0 win at Konyaspor in their opening group game.
Braga will have bad memories of their last visit to these parts and have some work to do if they are to get out of this group. They could only draw their opening group game 1-1 at home to Gent and will be faced with an uphill task if they don’t get anything here. They’ve made a pretty solid start to the Portuguese Primeira Liga with 4 wins from their opening 6 games but were beaten 3-1 at Benfica in their only game against one of the stronger sides in the league.
There looks to be a gulf in class between these sides and Shakhtar should have no trouble getting out of this group. Victory here will put them in a very strong position in the group and they’ll be determined to get it. They’ve already played 15 games this season and that defeat in Switzerland is the only time they’ve been beaten. They should have enough to put some distance between themselves and Braga again here and backing Shakhtar Donetsk -1.0 Asian Handicap at 1.725 looks a safe bet.
Head To Head
These sides have met 4 times before in European competition with Shakhtar winning on each occasion. The most recent meetings were only in April when the side from Ukraine won a Europa League Quarter Final 6-1 on aggregate.
Shakhtar have lost just 1 of their last 19 home games inside 90 minutes in this competition, winning 11 of them. Braga have won just 1 of their last 6 Europa League games.
Shakhtar are likely to rotate slightly following their weekend win. Boriachuk and Dentinho may come in.
José Peseiro is likely to stick with the bulk of the side that won in Portugal at the weekend. Pedro Santos could return up front.