DESPITE a difficult domestic season, Celtic sit top of their Europa League group. Can they build on that here? We asked Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79).
Celtic v Astra Giurgiu | 20.05 | BT Sport 1
One of the big conundrums when betting on the Europa League is whether the side you’re backing are taking the competition seriously. This has been a particular minefield when getting financially involved with the bigger European sides but with Celtic I’m confident they’ll be desperate to win this match.
It’s been a torrid season so far for new boss Ronny Deila. Celtic lie fifth in the Scottish Premiership after failing to win any league games on the back of a European tie earlier in the week. The nadir was three weeks ago when they lost to promoted Hamilton Accies 1-0 at Celtic Park, a result that’s gone some way in pushing Celtic six points behind league leaders Accies.
Similarly to Dortmund in the Champions League, you get the impression that Celtic are finding positive escapism from their domestic meltdown this season in European competition. To be fair, they had an awful time in the Champions League but the Europa League has been a different story with four points out of six won by the Glasgow club. They began the group with an excellent draw in Austria against Red Bull Salzburg and followed that up with a 1-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb. It’s been an impressive start to the group.
Their opponents, Astra Giurgiu, have never reached this far in Europe and it’s fair to say the Romanians have found things tough. A 5-1 away loss in Zagreb to Dinamo was succeeded by a 2-1 loss at home to Salzburg. Celtic have faced some mighty opponents at Parkhead in recent years, these guys are not one of them.
Bet365 are offering Celtic at 7/10 and that’s good enough for me to indulge in. I’ve put up other Europa League bets elsewhere on the site at bigger prices.
Celtic v Astra Giurgiu – Celtic to win (7/10 Bet365)