Home wins for the pack nipping at the heels of Manchester United in Group A are included in our second matchday two treble, with CSKA fancied to keep it tight in Moscow to land the bwin odds of 7/1.
Bayer Leverkusen to beat Real Sociedad @ 13/20
The Basques paid the price for Champions League naivety in the group opener against Shakhtar, who stung them on the counter-attack for a textbook European away win.
As a result they’ll need to get something out of this game to keep themselves on scrapping terms with Bayer and the Ukrainians behind Manchester United, and this compulsion to go forward should afford their hosts greater space to construct forward forays.
Leverkusen have won their last five home games by a margin of two goals and their pacey front three – based around 2012/13 Bundesliga goal-leader Stefan Kiessling – should be able to fire them past Sociedad, who have won just once in four away games this season.
Shakhtar Donetsk to beat Manchester United @ 8/5
There’s no disguising the Red Devils’ teething difficulties under David Moyes, with defeats in their last two league games and they arrive to tackle a side that have shipped just two goals in six home matches this season.
Shakhtar have never failed to notch against English opposition in the Donbass Arena, beating Chelsea on home turf last year.
They can exploit a United side who have conceded eight goals in their last four games, especially as David Moyes’ charges are shorn of Rio Ferdinand’s Champions League-winning head through injury.
Under 2.5 goals in CSKA Moscow v Viktoria Plzen @ 91/100.
CSKA may be strong betting favourites, but they’re keeping pace at the top of the Russian Premier League by virtue of their stingy home defence rather than a terrifying attack.
The Army Men have notched six times in five home games this term conceding only twice.
Plzen lost just two of their eight Europa League away ties in 2012/13, conceding more than a single goal only once and they have kept up their strong road game this season, in which they’re unbeaten after eight games, seven of which were victories.
Necessary caution from the far from prolific hosts against being caught on the break suggests this tie should be a low-scoring affair.