Wednesday 18 September: 8pm KO
Live on BT Sport 3
Hell hath no fury like a Manchester City side scorned. The weekend wasn’t a good one for Pep Guardiola’s team as they lost 3-2 away at Norwich City. They need to pick themselves up from that defeat as City begin their Champions League campaign. Will this be the season when they at least get to the final? City will hope to repeat the success they had against Shakhtar last season when also playing them in the group stages.
Another Champions League season begins and still Manchester City are yet to even grace the final. Before the massive investment arrived, City were glad of a good run in a domestic cup competition. Now they dream of becoming European champions but they always seem to find a way of getting themselves knocked out. City are 10/3 (4.33) at Ladbrokes to finally win the Champions League this season.
The past two seasons have seen them be beaten by English clubs. First it was Liverpool and then Tottenham knocked them out in the quarter finals last season. Before that they had lost at home to Lyon, so they are still searching for that formula that win finally deliver the Champions League to their owners. Meanwhile nearby Bury wonder if they’ll ever play another game.
City travel to Shakhtar Donetsk just days after losing to Norwich City in the Premier League. Not any normal Norwich team but one that had an injury crisis. That loss leaves them five points behind Liverpool and they are out to 4/6 (1.66) at Betfair to retain their Premier League title.
Their defending didn’t look that great on Saturday but luckily they don’t have the hardest of Champions League groups. A trio of Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta aren’t going to cause that many headaches for City.
Shakhtar Donetsk are already seven points clear at the top of the Ukranian league. They have won all seven of their league games but the Champions League of course is a lot tougher. Their best ever performance in this competition was in the 2010/11 season when they reached the quarter finals. The odds on them winning the Champions League this season are 500/1 (501.0) at BetVictor.
They are 19/1 (20.0) at Unibet to win this group. Just qualifying for the last sixteen (something they last did two seasons ago) has odds of 5/4 (2.25) if you place your wager at Betway. Last season they finished third in the group and that again saw them up against Manchester City.
In fact, this is the third season in a row that these two clubs have been in the same Champions League group.They only won one of their six matches, a home win over Hoffenheim. That took them into the Europa League, where they lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the last 32.
Shakhtar hasn’t always been the easiest place to go and get three points. They had gone five Champions League home games without a defeat but none of the last three have been won. The odds on Shakhtar getting a win on Wednesday are 9/1 (10.0) at Paddy Power.
The two clubs have met in the group stages in the past two seasons. 2018/19 saw City win 6-0 at home and 3-0 away. You can get odds of 1/2 (1.5) on that stat coming up in this game if you go to Coral to place your bet. Two seasons ago, Shakhtar did get a 2-1 home win over City. However, the visitors had already qualified so played a weakened team.
Shakhtar Dontesk have no injury worries for this Champions League match. Kevin De Bruyne was on the subs bench at Norwich but is expected to play from the start on Wednesday.
Shakhtar are in form but didn’t have much success in the Champions League last season. City are familiar opponents and put nine goals past them last season. A bet on Manchester City to win and over 1.5 goals in the game has odds of 4/9 (1.44) at Ladbrokes.