Dinamo Zagreb v Celtic | 11th December 2014 | BT Sport 1

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CELTIC are safely through to the knockout stages of the Europa League, but can they leave Group D on a high? Chris Graham (chrisgraham79) takes a look at the odds for us.

Dinamo Zagreb v Celtic | Thursday 18:00 | BT Sport 1

It’s great to see Celtic reaching the knockout stages of the Europa League with a game to spare, but in all honesty it’s been a very weak group.

Celtic’s opening group result was probably their most impressive. Back on September 18th they went to Austria and got a 2-2 draw against group winners Red Bull Salzburg. Since then they’ve limped past Dinamo Zagreb and Astra Giurgiu by the odd goal at Celtic Park, lost to Salzburg at home and drew with Astra in Romania.

If Celtic have been ordinary in this group, then Dinamo Zagreb have been fairly woeful. They kicked off their campaign with a stunning 5-1 home win over Astra, but have then followed that up with four straight defeats. Pitiful stuff.

The irony is, they’ve been in superb form domestically this season. Sitting four points clear at the top of the table and unbeaten this season, they cut an imposing figure in Croatia.

I’m tempted to back them to win this match at 23/20 with Skybet as I just can’t trust Celtic away from home in Europe, but boy that is a skinny price. The last significant away win for Celtic in Europe came over two years ago when they beat Spartak Moscow in their Champions League group. Since then they’ve failed to win away against the likes of Shaktar Karagandy, Elfsborg, Astra Giurgiu, Legia Warsaw and Maribor.

I’m also certain that manger Ronny Delia is still trying to find his way with this Celtic side. They remain unconvincing domestically and he’ll need the two months ahead of him to prepare for the Last 32 tie.

What am I backing though? I can’t back Zagreb at 23/20. Even the draw at 27/10 with Betfair feels fairly average. So, I’m going to dip into the Winning Margin market for the first time on WeLoveBetting and select Zagreb to win by exactly one goal at 11/4. That’s my kind of price.

Best Bet

Dinamo Zagreb v Celtic – Dinamo Zagreb to win by 1 Goal (11/4 Skybet)

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Profile photo of Chris Graham

Chris first got interested in betting back in 2000 when he began working in betting shops throughout Scotland. He has remained in the industry ever since, specialising in marketing and PR roles. Outside of betting, his interests are listening to Blur and following Queen Of The South.

3 Comments

  1. Hi Chris

    I think Zagreb could well win tomorrow but I disagree with some of your reasoning. As you rightly say Celtic’s best performance was the away game at Salzburg, who were still getting to grips with anew manager but all in all Celtic performed well. .Craig Gordon performing better than anyone and what a steal fo a free transfer he has turned out to be with a lot of Celtic fans agreeing he is preferable to Forster who they got £10m for. At Astra they also performed well and should have been well clear before an outstanding strike levelled the match. that was pretty much all that Astra offered in that game and but for poor finishing, which has been Celtic’s biggest problem this season, they could have won by multiple goals.

    Nine domestic victories in the bounce, while not exactly scintillating, is still decent form and against Motherwell on Saturday they were just that, scintillating. The scoreline doesn’t say it but their play was fast, inventive, and energetic, just missing that one key ingredient.

    Team news is key tomorrow imo and of course Celtic don’t need to win so that would put me off backing them.

    • Profile photo of Chris Graham

      Hi There. Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I was a bit harsh on Celtic (whom I’ll be supporting on Thursday night), but their away form in Europe leaves me cold. I also get the feeling Dinamo Zagreb have the armoury to inflict a decent defeat on someone. We saw that against Astra back in September. No John Guidetti either, concerns me of course.

      Yeah I watched the highlights of the Motherwell game, and in the opening 20 minutes they were sensational. I was amazed the score only ended 1-0. I won’t be surprised if they draw a number of points clear in the league within the next couple of months but I can’t side with them here.

      Thanks for reading.

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