Antwerp vs Shakhtar DonetskUEFA Champions League, KO: 17:45 Oct 4, 2023, Bosuilstadion
After the humiliation in Spain on match-day one, Antwerp continue their debut Champions League campaign with a Group H clash against Shakhtar Donetsk. The Belgian champions have been far from their best in recent weeks and should find things difficult against Shakhtar, who have shown some quality on their travels and are more experienced at this level.
It was a baptism of fire for Antwerp on match-day one as they began their Champions League campaign with a 5-0 defeat at Barcelona. They were no match for the superior quality of the Catalans and could only muster just one attempt on target throughout the contest.
Antwerp emerged Belgian champions last lesson but have struggled to match up with those standards this term. They are currently fifth in the Jupiler Pro League and head into Wednesday’s clash off the back of a 0-0 draw with Mechelen in a domestic fixture last weekend.
That draw at Mechelen extends a poor run of results for Antwerp, who have been held in their three matches since the defeat to Barcelona. The good news is that Mark Van Bommel’s men have kept clean sheets in all three matches but have also failed to score in their last four fixtures across all competitions.
Shakhtar Donetsk also began their campaign with a defeat as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Porto in their opening fixture. They were second best to the Portuguese giants for much of the encounter with Kevin Kelsey’s first half effort proving to be a mere consolation.
Things have not been particularly smooth for Shakhtar Donetsk in recent weeks as they have claimed just one win from their last four matches across all competitions. Patrick Van Leeuwen’s men also suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Vorskla in a domestic fixture last weekend.
A strange thing about Shakhtar Donetsk’s recent form is that they have fared much better on their travels and are unbeaten in their last five away matches across all competitions. They have claimed three wins in that run, including a 3-0 victory at Veres Rivne in their previous fixture on the road.
How the bookies view it
Antwerp have the upper hand among the bookies with a home win priced at 17/20 by Paddy Power. A victory for Shakhtar Donetsk is valued at 7/2 by bet365 while Unibet is offering odds of 3/1 for a draw.
Head to head
This will be the first ever meeting between Antwerp and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Players to watch
Antwerp’s recent form has been built on some defensive solidity as they have not conceded in their last three matches. Elias Cobbaut and Jordi Vanlerberghe often partner in central defence and will be looking to lead the Belgians to a clean sheet at 19/10 with Coral.
With Antwerp also failing to score in their last three matches, Shakhtar Donetsk will be targeting a shutout of their own. Yaroslav Rakitskyi and Stav Lemkin are usually among the options in defence and can lead the Ukrainians to a clean sheet at 24/5 by Coral.
Anything else catch the eye?
With both teams likely to be targeting a clean sheet on Wednesday, BTTS NO could be considered at 13/10 with BetVictor. Antwerp have seen under 2.5 goals in their last three matches and a repeat could be on the cards at 6/5 with Paddy Power.
Shakhtar Donetsk are likely to avoid defeat on Wednesday, so a double chance could be a safe bet at 11/10 with Unibet.
This UEFA Champions League match between Antwerp and Shakhtar Donetsk will be played on Oct 4, 2023 and kick off at 17:45. Check below for our tipsters best Antwerp vs Shakhtar Donetsk prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.