Barcelona vs Shakhtar Donetsk Prediction - Soccer Picks 10/25/23

Barcelona (2-0-0) vs Shakhtar Donetsk (1-0-1)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 12:45 pm (Estadio Olímpico)

Barcelona -500/Shakhtar Donetsk +1100 - Over/Under: 2.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Round 3 of the UEFA Champions League continues on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, with a duel between Barcelona and Shakhtar Donetsk at Estadio Olímpico. Barcelona are atop Group H with six points, while Shakhtar got three points from the opening two games and are in 3rd place. Check out our Barcelona vs Shakhtar Donetsk betting preview and prediction.

Barcelona (Form and News)

Seventeen-year-old sensation Marc Guiu scored under a minute into his debut as Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday to move within a point of La Liga leaders Real Madrid, while extending their unbeaten start to the season (W9, D3). In scoring that winner, Guiu became the youngest player to debut with a goal for the Catalans in the 21st century. However, focus quickly shifts to Europe as they come into Round 3 with a 100% win record and a three-point lead atop Group H.

A win here would vastly increase their chances of progressing to the round of 16, something which eluded them in the last two UEFA Champions League (UCL) campaigns. An uninspiring nine-game run in home matches of this competition (W3, D2, L4) doesn’t particularly breed confidence, but ahead of the visit of Shakhtar Donetsk, Barça have won eight of 11 home matches against Ukrainian clubs (D1, L2).

Player to watch: İlkay Gündoğan, who assisted Barcelona’s opener in their two UCL matches this season, has five goal contributions (G2, A3) in six games against Shakhtar.

Head coach Xavi will be without suspended Gavi, while Jules Kounde (knee) and Sergi Roberto (foot) are out injured. Robert Lewandowski (ankle), Pedri (injury), Raphinha (hamstring), and Frenkie de Jong (ankle) are questionable.

Shakhtar Donetsk (Form and News)

Shakhtar Donetsk won 3-0 against LNZ in the Ukrainian Premier League at the weekend to stay within touching distance of the leaders with a game in hand. They’ll be targeting a continuation of that momentum in Europe as they aim for a first Round of 16 appearance in this competition since 2017/18. Shakhtar started their group campaign with a 3-1 loss but produced a gutsy display in their second outing to battle from 2-0 down to beat Antwerp 3-2.

The Pitmen now have a chance to post consecutive UCL group stage wins for the first time since February 2018 after that Round 2 victory. Given that the win was only their second success across their last nine away UCL group games (D2, L5) though, it will seemingly take another miraculous display here to cause a seismic Champions League upset.

Player to watch: Danylo Sikan opened and closed Shakhtar’s scoring in the 3-2 win over Antwerp, whilst warming up for this trip with a goal in their last match.

Defender Mykola Matviienko suffered an Achilles tendon on international duty but was on the bench for Shakhtar against LNZ. He is listed as questionable against Barça.

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Barcelona vs Shakhtar Donetsk H2H Record

The rivals have met seven times since 2004. Barcelona won five and Shakhtar won two matches. Blaugrana was victorious in the previous three H2H encounters. The six previous UCL H2Hs have seen one side leading ‘to nil’ at half-time, with each team doing so on three occasions.

Barcelona vs Shakhtar Donetsk Odds

Barcelona are a massive favorite at -500, a draw is at +650, while the visitors can be backed at +1100 if you are looking for a surprise. The odds on Over 2.5 goals are not very attractive (-250), but if you anticipate a low-scoring affair, back Under 2.5 goals at +187. Both teams to score odds are +100 for YES and -134 for NO. Make sure to take a look at more Champions League odds.

Barcelona vs Shakhtar Donetsk Betting Pick

Barcelona are undefeated this season (12 matches in all competitions) and won all six home games thus far. Their defense is incredible as it still didn’t allow a goal in UCL, and only two at home in La Liga, but the attack wasn’t very prolific lately. Barcelona scored just one goal in three of the previous four matches without conceding in return. I expect to see something similar in this one.

Shakhtar haven’t allowed a goal in the last two games, but conceded five in two Champions League matches. The visitors will be hoping to keep the hosts away from goal for as long as possible. Although I believe the Ukrainians can hold off Barcelona in the opening 45 minutes, I do think the hosts will break the resistance in the second half. I am backing the home side to keep the net intact one more time, but I don’t expect goals galore. That’s why I am going with Under 3.5 goals here.  

Oliver’s Pick Under 3.5 goals (-138)

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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