The second day of Champions League Betting is upon us with another two fixtures, AS Roma vs. Shakhtar Donetsk and the much-anticipated billing between Arsenal and Barcelona.
The former matchup between the Serie A mainstays AS Roma and Ukrainian heavyweights and Champions League’s new kids on the block Shakhtar Donetsk is the focus of this soccer betting trends piece and boy, do we have some interesting information for you to sink your teeth into before weighing in with your wagers.
AS Roma Serie A Highlights and Facts:
It has been a decade since AS Roma won the domestic title in Italy. Their last turn on the podium came in the 2001/2002 season. Last year, AS Roma finished runner-up in Serie A for the fourth time in five years and, incidentally, each time it was as the second fiddle to Internazionale Milan.
As things currently stand in the Italy’s top-flight league, they are in eighth spot, down a ladder rung after this weekend’s round of fixtures on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Napoli.
In fact, form hasn’t been good this past fortnight as AS Roma are after back-to-back draws in their last two fixtures; prior to the defeat at home to Napoli they suffered a hefty 5-3 loss to Inter Milan on the away.
Since the New Year, AS Roma has gone 5-1-3 across all competitions, which is a modest mark but not good enough. Modesty doesn’t inspire fear and loathing in the opposition does it.
UEFA Champions League Group Review:
AS Roma finished in second place in Group E, five points behind Bayern Munich with a 3-1-2 mark. Once again, a rather modest mark for the Italian side.
The statistic that leaps off the page is the concerning -1 goal differential, comprised of 10 goals for and 11 goals against. Another thing that was revealing about this side was their lacklustre account in the 3-1 defeat to Basel they suffered on home ground.
Shakhtar Donetsk Ukraine Premier League highlights and Facts:
Unless a vested interest in the Ukrainian Premier League is had, most soccer bettors are unaware of the comings and goings of this far Eastern post. This might change now that Shakhtar Donetsk has broken new ground for Ukrainian soccer (since achieving national Independence) by reaching the knockout stages of UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club’s history and that it’s on the right track to become a force in European soccer.
As things currently, stand in the Ukrainian Premier League, Shakhtar leads the field with a-12 point edge. They seemingly have the title in the bag. Form is encouraging even though they are after a recent defeat to Karpaty on the away. Fact, prior to the 1-0 road loss they were boasting a 14-game winning streak; hard to look past that.
Ukrainian Premier League has only seen seven seasons, of which Shakhtar has won four; Dynamo Kyiv has won the remaining three. Bearing in mind the infancy of this league, soccer betting fans cannot NOT be impressed by what Shakhtar has achieved in Europe, thus far.
UEFA Champions League Group Review:
Shakhtar Donetsk sent seismic shockwaves through Champions League betting markets when they clinched top spot in Group H at the expense of Arsenal. Shocking though it was, nobody can argue that it wasn’t a deserved result when Shakhtar finished on a 5-0-1 mark, three points ahead of Arsenal.
Admittedly, the only defeat they suffered was to Arsenal, a 5-1 defeat at Emirates Stadium, London. But they did turn the tables on the Gunners when they hosted them at Donbass Arena, beating the Prem darlings 2-1.
Most importantly, they finished the group stage with a healthy goal differential of plus six, scoring 12 goals and conceding six. Of course, the calculations are skewed dramatically by the 5-1 defeat to Arsenal. If we were to take that lopsided score out the mix, the differential stands at an impressive a plus ten. Fact is outside of the tie with the Gunners, Shakhtar managed to keep a clean sheet! Now that is something worthy of noting.
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