Wayne Rooney was at his unplayable best when Man United overwhelmed Bayer Leverkusen on Champions League matchday one and he should be backed at odds of 19/10 to continue his rich vein of scoring form at any time against Shakhtar, with bwin doubling or trebling your odds if he bags once or twice more.
Rooney has notched at least four European goals in six of his last seven campaigns.
With the exception of last season, when his form and playing time suffered from the undercurrents of his frustratingly opaque struggles with Sir Alex Ferguson, the Liverpool native has notched at least four Champions League strikes in every campaign since 2006/07.
The first three of those seasonal tallies came from more than ten games on each occasion.
However, the last three of his four-goal-plus seasonal hauls came from seven games, nine games and seven games respectively, suggesting that Rooney is actually getting sharper in European competition as he matures.
He is already virtually a third of the way to last season’s goal total from one sixth of the starts.
There’s no doubt that the 27-year-old has started the season in a rich vein of form and that’s proven by the fact that he’s now notched five goals in six starts across all competitions this term.
However, his all-round offensive contribution also suggests he’s back to his bull-in-a-china-shop best, with almost half as many successful dribbles completed in five-and-a-bit 2013/14 Premier League games as in the whole of last season.
His brace against Leverkusen would’ve doubled shrewd bwin punters’ first goalscorer odds and given it was his sixth such double since the beginning of 2012/13, there’s every reason to suspect he can notch multiple goals once more on matchday two.
Shakhtar Donetsk kept just one clean sheet in eight Champions League games last season.
Of the four sides the Ukrainians faced in last season’s competition only Danish first-timers FC Nordsjaelland failed to bag home and away against Mircea Lucescu’s men.
That clean sheet came at the Donbass Arena, but Chelsea, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund all managed to register at least once in Shakhtar’s back yard in 2012/13.