Shakhtar Donetsk vs Arsenal Kyiv
Ukraine – Premier League
Date: Sunday, 29 July 2018
Kick-Off at 17:30 UK / 18:30 CET
Venue: Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist, Kharkiv.
Arsenal Kyiv returned to the top flight of the Ukrainian football after a four-year absence, but the start to the campaign was anything but promising. The Cannoneers fell 0-2 at home to fellow promoted side L’viv proving the obvious lack of quality for the elite class challenges. To make things worse, they have to play the defending champions in the second round on Sunday afternoon at Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist.
Shakhtar will thus play the league newcomers for the second time in a row after beating Desna 0-2 on Wednesday afternoon. Even though the Miners struggled to impose the dominance on the pitch early in the game, they managed to confirm the favourites tag and show the gulf in quality by beating their rivals 0-2 on the day. Goals came from Junior Moraes and Marlos. Moraes joined the team this summer from bitter rivals Dynamo Kyiv.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Arsenal Kyiv: Head-to-head
The two sides will meet each other for the first time in three years, following Shakhtar’s 0-3 victory in the cup tie back in 2015.
The Miners were absolutely dominant in the history of matches against Arsenal, beating them 15 times in 22 games.
At home, Shakhtar won 10 out of 11 encounters with Arsenal Kyiv (this is only statistics as Shakhtar are only nominal hosts given the match is played in Kharkiv).
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Arsenal Kyiv: Prediction
The hosts are massive favourite and we would be stunned to see anything but a comprehensive victory for them here. Arsenal had huge troubles in the build-up play against much easier opponents as they failed to find the back of the net in last three games. The opposition in these ties involved the likes of Cherkaskyi Dnipro, Kolos Kovalivka and L’viv.
The only question is the margin of Shakhtar’s win here. You can get the 1.65 odds for three or more goals difference. We will be brave enough and back Shakhtar to win by at least four goals at the odds of 2.50. The alternative bet will be Over 1.5 goals in the first half at the odds of 1.90.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Arsenal Kyiv: Bet Tips
Shakhtar Donetsk -3.5 handicap @ 2.50
Over 1.5 goals in the first half @ 1.90.