CAN the Scottish champions collect maximum points from the visit of Molde? Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) checks out the best bets from Thursday night’s encounter.
Celtic v Molde | Thursday 18.00 | BT Sport 2
On the domestic front, things are looking decidedly rosy for Celtic.
Ronny Deila’s side have established a six-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table, having won five of their last six league matches.
The Hoops have won Scottish top-flight in each of the last four seasons and, unless they implode in the most dramatic fashion, it’s nearly impossible to see them missing out on a fifth successive Scottish title come May.
Celtic, too, are on course to defend the League Cup, having progressed to the last four of the competition at the expense of Hearts last week.
In Europe, however, it’s a very different story.
The Scottish champions have picked up just two points from their opening three Group A matches in the Europa League.
They surrendered leads against both Ajax and Fenerbahce in their opening two fixtures of the competition before being outclassed by Molde in Norway last month.
On Thursday night, former Manchester United idol Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brings his Molde side to Celtic Park looking to all but secure their place in the Last 32 of the competition.
Despite what has gone before in this group, it is the Scottish side who are red-hot favourites to reignite their European ambitions by claiming a crucial victory in Glasgow – but I’m not willing to jump on board.
Molde should be brimming with belief, having won each of their last five matches – including that 3-1 mauling of Celtic.
The Norwegian side have been beaten just twice in nine matches in European competition thus far this term and were desperately unlucky to miss out on a place in the Champions League play-off-round after being edged out on away goals by Dinamo Zagreb.
Celtic, by contrast, have failed to win any of their last eight matches in the Europa League and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if that run continues when they line up against Solskjaer’s underrated side on Thursday night.
Therefore, I’m willing to take a punt on Molde in the double chance market here at 11/8 (Betway) where we’ll be paid out should the Norwegians avoid defeat.
It’s a price worth taking and punters shouldn’t be shy in backing against the Scottish champions on Thursday night.
Celtic v Molde – Molde double chance (11/8 Betway)
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