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RB Leipzig vs Shakhtar Donetsk betting tips: Champions League preview, predictions & odds

Struggling Bundesliga upstarts RB Leipzig welcome Ukrainian powerhouse Shakhtar Donetsk to Saxony for the opening week of Champions League play in Group F

Head-to-Head matchup

Record (Champions League): Leipzig (0-0-0) – Shakhtar (0-0-0)

Record (Domestic League): Leipzig; 11th (1-2-2) – Shakhtar; T-2nd (2-1-0)

Top Goalscorer (Champions League): N/A

Top Goalscorer (Domestic League): Leipzig; Christopher Nkunku (4) – Shakhtrar; Artem Bondarenko and Yukhym Hemp (1)

Key personnel selection concerns:

Leipzig – Yussuf Poulsen, Dani Olmo, Lukas Klostermann

Match Preview & Prediction

Domenico Tedesco’s Bundesliga upstarts RB Leipzig are in the midst of a torrid time in the top flight of German football as they come into their opening clash in this season’s Champions League when they welcome Ukrainian domestic juggernaut Shakhtar Donetsk to Saxony.

Die Roten Bullen have managed just one win in five fixtures this season under the former FC Schalke 04 headmaster and come into their midweek fixture on the back of a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of last season’s Europa League winners and fellow Bundesliga antagonist Eintracht Frankfurt.

Frustratingly, Leipzig has already surrendered nine goals in the young 2022-23 season despite holding on to key defensive stalwarts while also adding David Raum and Abdou Diallo into the senior ranks while still boasting attacking options consisting of Christopher Nkunku, André Silva, Emile Forsberg, Dominik Szoboszlai, Dani Olmo, and the returning Timo Werner.

A 2-0 win against VfL Wolfsburg on match day four remains the only points the club has picked up this season and though they have the joy of starting another European campaign in front of home support tomorrow evening, visiting Shakhtar will hardly be a pushover.

Hirnyky has started strongly on the domestic front, picking up seven points from a possible nine on offer while keeping a clean sheet in each domestic fixture but those results have come without the usual attacking threat that Shakhtar historically possesses, with just two goals to their name thus far.

That, combined with Leipzig’s goalscoring efforts often coming down to Nkunku, could present the Ukrainian side with a chance of sharing the spoils away from home with the likes of Arsenal-linked Mykhaylo Mudryk offering a serious threat on the counter. They will have to be wary of what Leipzig can do should they shake the cobwebs off, however, with the Saxons fully capable of lighting up the scoreboard if they finally find their footing.

Prediction: RB Leipzig 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

Betting Tips


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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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