A point is all that is required in order for Celtic to make it through to the knockout stages of the Europa League. Red Bull Salzburg will provide tough opposition but the Bhoys should get the required draw.
Having been knocked out of the Champions League twice, Celtic have been performing admirably in Europe’s second tier club competition and need a point to progress through to the knockout stages of the competition.
Two wins and two draws leaves them on eight points coming into this encounter, five ahead of third placed Zagreb. As such they are well placed to proceed further into the second round, Bet365 offering 19/10 for the Scottish champions to clinch maximum points this evening at Celtic Park, a draw up for grabs at 14/5 with Sky Bet.
Indeed, Salzburg have stormed to the top of the Group D table, dropping their only points in their 2-2 home draw to Celtic in their opening match in September. Since then, they have proceeded to brush aside all before them with a 9-3 aggregate victory over Zagreb their most emphatic result.
Salzburg are also flying high in their domestic league, Adolf Hutter steering the side to a six point lead at the top of the Austrian Bundesliga and they will be in high spirits coming into this clash. Indeed, the visitors come into this match as slight favourites at 6/4 for a win, however Celtic will be fully aware that only a single point is required to qualify for the second round and as such we can perhaps expect a defensive game from the hosts tonight.
Nevertheless, the Hoops will need to keep a close eye on Salzburg’s star scorer Jonathan Soriano. The 29-year-old has proven himself to be a huge hit at the club with an amazing 77 goals in his 83 league matches, a record which he has repeated on the European stage with 19 goals in 22 appearances. As such, we’ll be happily taking the 11/8 available at Betfred for him to score anytime.
These two sides are evenly matched on paper and they will both be confident of getting something from this match. Celtic can win, however with a single point enough to ensure progression in the competition they will be taking few risks. Expect a stalemate, however also expect Soriano to fire home a goal.
Our betting tips
Match ending in a draw – Sky Bet 14/5
Anytime Goalscorer, Jonathan Soriano – Betfred 11/8