If Shakhtar Donetsk is on the pitch against Benfica Lisbon in Kharkiv on Thursday evening, the only thing missing is the well-known Champions League anthem before the game. Everything else is quite royal. Both teams are current national champions. Both also top the current national tables. And they both ended up in third place in the preliminary round of the premier class and were therefore downgraded to the Europa League.
The Hirnyky are considered favorites in the first leg in their own stadium, although the question of who will reach the next round will not be resolved until the following week in the Portuguese capital. The bookmaker’s odds comparison reveals which bookmakers for Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Benfica Lisbon offer the best odds.
However – and this must be included in the forecast for Shakhtar Donetsk against Benfica Lisbon – the bet on the division of points ignores the home strength of the Hirnyky, who strictly speaking don’t have a real home game in Kharkiv, but were able to beat many big opponents here.
However, Donetsk has been without a win for seven European home games, although the four previous games were all won. We still believe that it is the turn of the Kroty today, which is why we recommend Tip 1 at Shakhtar Donetsk against Benfica Lisbon.
In addition to this forecast, which we will explain in detail in the following analysis, you will also find the preliminary reports in the category Betting Tips Europa League along with specific betting recommendations for the other first-round games from February 20, 2020.
Only since 1992 has the Ukrainian championship been played as part of the Premjer-Liha. The record champion is still Dynamo Kiev. It took ten years for Shakhtar Donetsk to be crowned champion for the first time in 2002. Previously, the club from the east of the country only won the Soviet championship three times in the 1970s.
In the current millennium, however, there was rarely a way past the Hirnyky, which could celebrate the twelfth Ukrainian championship in total and the third in a row in 2019. Everything is already set up so that the next title will be added in a few weeks.
After all, the Kroty lead the current table of Premjer-Liha unchallenged. 16 wins from the previous 18 league games are two draws and not a single loss. With 50: 9 goals, the defending champion also has both the best offensive and the best defensive in the country. The lead over the once so brilliant pursuer Dynamo Kiev is already 14 points.
All the more Luís Castro’s team can concentrate on the Europa League, where it is an advantage that the Portuguese coach knows both the Primeira Liga in general and Benfica Lisbon in particular very well.
Overall, there is a lot to suggest that Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Benfica Lisbon tip 1 will go up in this first leg and that the Hirnyky can go to the Estádio da Luz armed with good results in a week.
After all, there is still a winter break in Ukraine, which is why the team kept fit with regular friendly games, but was able to look at the Encarnados for a long time in terms of preparation. The orange-blacks still have to get a grip on their new weakness at home.
Shakhtar Donetsk has not won any of the last seven international games in Kharkiv (four draws, three defeats) and has recently had an unprecedented level of clarity in the last sixteen of the Champions League by newcomer Atalanta Bergamo. The 0: 3 against the Lombards on matchday six marked the highest home defeat of the Kroty in international show business.
Now it continues like a year ago in the Europa League, where the Hirnyky failed after a 2-2 draw in the first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt after the 1-4 in the second leg in the sixteenth final.
Her last home win in this competition was a tough one. In the 2015/16 season, Donetsk Sporting Braga swept 4-0 out of the stadium – the same club that celebrated a 1-0 away win in Lisbon at the weekend and spoiled the dress rehearsal for today’s opponents.
Had this game taken place two weeks earlier, Benfica Lisbon would undoubtedly have come to Kharkiv as the favorite in this away game. However, with three competitive games in a row without victory in the bones, the Encarnados embark on the arduous journey to Ukraine.
The Portuguese record champions and incumbent national champions are in the primeira league two bitter setbacks in the bones. First, the Adler lost to their long-term rival and big pursuer FC Porto 2: 3 in the first leg and took their second defeat of the season against the Dragons.
And then “O Glorioso” also went wrong against Braga at the weekend, after the week-end against Farmalicao only after a draw in the semi-finals of the national cup after a draw.
The 0: 1 marked only the third defeat of the season in the 21st game, whereby Bruno Lage’s team was able to win all other 18 games without further ado. Nevertheless, the lead over FC Porto, against whom two direct duels were lost, has shrunk to a measly point.
All the more, the capitals have to focus on the national competition again, where Gil Vicente will be away next Monday. At the latest this game should also reveal whether the three competitive games in a row without victory were only a short snapshot or a small hiccup, or whether there may be more to it.
At Shakhtar Donetsk against Benfica Lisbon, the odds of the bookmakers speak against the Águias, who failed last season just like their Ukrainian opponents against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.
At least in the sixteenth final of the second most important European competition for club teams, the Portuguese record champion always knew how to sell well. In all five previous duels in this round, the Encarnados finally prevailed, remained unbeaten in a total of ten individual games and won four away games in a row in the sixteenth final.