There is a very interesting finale in store for Group F of the Champions League, and punters are torn as to how events will transpire.
Manchester City are top of the pile following a magnificent run of five wins from five, and they cannot be caught as group leaders.
But then look at this battle for second place: Shakhtar are currently in the hotseat with nine points and a goal difference of -1.
1. Shakhtar vs Man City Odds Preview
The issue for Shakhtar is that they still need a point against City in their last game to assure themselves of qualification to the knockout phase of the competition.
Because Napoli are poised on six points, and they know that victory in Feyenoord – who have lost all five of their matches, by the way – could secure them qualification if Shakhtar lose to the English outfit.
So it’s all to play for in the final gameweek of the Champions League; can Shakhtar Donetsk take care of business in front of their own supporters, or will Manchester City poop the party?
This is a match where the bookmakers tend to tread rather carefully, and that’s why they have Shakhtar available to back at 2.46 and Manchester City a fraction behind at 3.00.
The draw can be backed at 3.40.
2. Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City Betting TIps
Be under no illusions, Manchester City will want to win this game. They may already be safely through to the last 16 of the competition, but winning breeds confidence and Pep Guardiola will want to make sure that his team remain at the top of the game.
The only elephant in the room as far as that is concerned is that this game takes place on December 6 – on December 10, City have arguably their hardest fixture of the season away from home at their Manchester rivals, United.
Guardiola will leave nothing to chance with that in mind then, and he may choose to rest some of his key players – particularly defensively, where options are limited following the injury to John Stones – ahead of that bitter local rivalry.
With Shakhtar just needing a draw, that will play hugely into their hands.
The Ukrainian outfit won’t set out to specifically get the stalemate – that would be incredibly dangerous against a Manchester City side playing some of the best attacking football on the planet right now, but if the home side can nick a goal early on then there will be no prizes for guessing how negatively they play from that moment on.
Don’t forget, Shakhtar have beaten both Napoli and Feyenoord at home. They aren’t in second place by luck; they are a quality operation that is very much capable of stifling Manchester City – especially a City side with fringe players and young guns in tow.
So our advice to punters is this: don’t place your bets until you have seen the team news. If City have made changes, have no hesitation in backing Shakhtar in the Draw No Bet market at 1.65.
It’s crunch time in Group F of the Champions League, with Shakhtar needing to claim at least a draw against rampant Manchester City to book their place in the last 16 and knock out Napoli. Can they do it?