WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) is back to preview Europe’s premier club competition. This time he takes a look at an all-British game between Celtic and Man City, it promises to be a hostile atmosphere!
Celtic v Manchester City | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport 2
Celtic’s return to the Champions League group stage after a two-year hiatus was gruelling to say the least. Brendan Rodger’s men lost 7-0 at the Camp Nou to a rampant Barcelona.
It’s not really surprising that the best front three of all time had a bit of joy against a team from a much weaker league, but, Celtic have a proud history and have caused the biggest of sides problems over the last decade at this level, so it was still a disappointment.
In typical fashion, Celtic returned to winning ways in the SPFL at the weekend putting six past Kilmarnock at home but Killie are second bottom. Kilmarnock took the lead through a screamer from Souleymane Coulibaly but failed to control the game with Celtic having 68% of possession and a barrage of shots.
Rodgers men have scored 23 goals in six league games but also conceded eight. That only gives them the joint-third best defence in the top division and is a cause for concern with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City coming to town.
Celtic have played Barca quite a lot in recent years but managed to avoid Pep Guardiola’s reign with games sandwiched either side of his time at the Catalan club. The DNA of Barcelona and Pep is one and the same though and he has the Citizens playing the Barcelona way already.
That spells trouble for Celtic. City have won 10 out of 10 under Guardiola but interestingly like Celtic they have not kept many clean sheets. It’s just four in 10 for the Spaniard and three of those came at home.
Recent results strongly point towards an away win but with both teams getting on the scoresheet. City are around the 1/3 mark to take all three points but you won’t ever find me backing teams to win away games at those prices.
Man City have only kept three clean sheets in 18 away European games since 2012/13 but the days of dismal results for the billionaire club look behind them under Pep.
The 5-0 away win in Bucharest last month indicates to me that City will be a powerhouse in Europe for the foreseeable future. A Champions League trophy is not far away in my opinion and I even wouldn’t write them off that feat this season. I backed them at 14/1 straight after the draw.
All things considered I’m looking at City to win this with something to spare. First of all though I’ll get them in the book with the ‘Match Result and Both Teams To Score’ market. They’re 7/4 with Betfair to do so.
Celtic have only failed to score in 12 of their last 100 home matches and 12 out of 50 in the Champions League since the turn of the millennium.
Rodgers is making a bit of a hash of things but the signing of Moussa Dembele from Fulham promises much, Kolo Toure provides much needed experience at this level and Patrick Roberts and Scott Sinclair are dangerous on the wings.
City have scored 27 goals this season and conceded six. Every single time they’ve conceded it’s been exactly one goal. This means they are winning by an average of just over two goals. The logical thing to do is to back City to win 3-1. You can back that result at 10/1 with 188Bet.