Shakhtar vs. Celtic Betting Tips: Two bets for Wednesday's action
Shakhtar vs Celtic Odds
Four British sides are in Champions League action on Wednesday evening but the only side on their travels are reigning Scottish Champions Celtic, who head to Poland to take on Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk.
Shakhtar vs Celtic Tips
The Glasgow side haven’t played since they were humbled by La Liga leaders Real Madrid at Celtic Park last midweek, being brought back down to earth somewhat abruptly. The Bhoys had thumped fierce rivals Rangers 4-0 at the same ground just three days before they were humbled by Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who struck three times in the second half to secure a comprehensive 3-0 victory.
It was a pristine professional performance for Los Blancos who extended their perfect start to the season to seven straight wins at the weekend, though it means you can’t hold too much against Celtic - whose flawless domestic start continues into the weekend.
It’s been an impressive start to the season for Shakhtar Donetsk too, who are joint top of the Ukrainian Premier League after four games. Playing their domestic home games in Lviv after Donetsk was deemed not safe enough to host games, Shakhtar will have to leave Ukraine altogether to compete in European competition - heading to Legia Warsaw’s ‘Stadion Wojska Polskiego’ as their ‘home’ venue.
The Miners suffered an exodus of sorts - akin to that of Russian forces from the Kharkiv region this week - following the curtailing of last season’s UPL, with several players leaving the club permanently in the summer and a few high profile names leaving on loan.
Among those leaving permanently was David Neres, joining Benfica for a €15m fee less than 6 months after originally signing for Shakhtar - he was one of several Brazilians that had to plead with their own government to help them to flee following Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Israeli midfielder Manor Solomon is officially on-loan at Fulham having taken advantage of a UEFA ruling that allowed him to ‘suspend’ his contract with Shakhtar until July 2023.
One constant for the Ukrainian side has been the presence of former Ajax forward Lassina Traore, who stayed with the club he signed a five-year deal with back in June 2021. The Burkinabé international came off the bench at the weekend to net a 96th minute winner for his side against Chernomorets, bagged a late fourth against Leipzig last week, and netted six times in just four UPL starts last season before a knee injury ended his season.
He’ll certainly have his work cut out if he’s to make it three in three against Celtic here though, as Ange Postecoglou’s side have conceded just once in their opening six Scottish Premiership fixtures. He has tipped the Glaswegian scales right back in Celtic’s favour since taking over the mantle after Neil Lennon’s disastrous second spell in charge at ‘Paradise’.
The cornerstone of the Australian gaffer's success has been smart recruitment, and it shows in the fact their top three scorers so far this season - Jota, Kyogo Furuhashi, and Liel Abada - were all signed during his tenure at the club.
Another Postecoglou signing that have made themselves a permanent fixture this season is Denmark U21 international Matt O’Riley. Signed from MK Dons back in January, he became irreplaceable during Celtic’s title charge and continues to turn in impressive performances - most recently bagging a brace of assists in the Old Firm derby before giving a good account of himself against Madrid.
With his sights set on a place in Denmark’s World Cup squad come November, the midfielder has been turning out some terrific performances and hasn’t been shy when it comes to pulling the trigger.
Having averaged an impressive 2.29 shots per 90 for his new side at the beginning of this year while seemingly staying quite wide, he looks to have come inside this year and often finds himself in and around the edge of the box. That slight change in positioning has seen a huge spike in his shooting attempts, managing a whopping 4.04 per game domestically.
He has hit at least two in all six of his Scottish Premiership starts too, with that average jumping to 4.51 per game away from home.
There isn’t much to go off in terms of how many shots Shakhtar typically allow, but Leipzig managed 13 in a 4-1 defeat - with four different RB players contributing at least two.
For the first time since a loan spell with Mariupol back in 2020, Artem Bondarenko looks to be enjoying regular football.
The former Ukrainian youth captain has this season started four consecutive games for Shakhtar for the first time in his career, and he’s been celebrating that by really getting stuck in.
Kept out of the side last season by a plethora of now-departed Brazilians, Bondarenko seems determined to leave his mark in midfield.
The 22-year old has picked up two bookings in just three UPL starts this term, taking his overall tally to six in three seasons having started just 14 games.
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