SCOTTISH football expert Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) previews Tuesday night’s Champions League encounter between Manchester City and Celtic.
Manchester City v Celtic | Tuesday 19:45 | BT Sport
The last time Manchester City met Celtic, they served up a Champions League classic – a thrilling 3-3 draw in the east end of Glasgow back in September.
Unfortunately, Tuesday’s tie is little more than a dead rubber, with pride more important than points as Pep Guardiola’s team play host to Brendan Rodgers’ side.
City’s ego will have been bruised by their 3-1 defeat against Chelsea at the weekend and the men from Manchester will probably view this match as a golden opportunity to set the record straight after being forced to settle for a share of the spoils against the Scottish champions last time.
Celtic, too, will feel that they have a point to prove; Rodgers’ team have been comprehensively outclassed throughout the campaign and a return of just two points from five Group C fixtures tells its own story; furthermore, the Hoops have won just one of their last 10 Champions League ties on their travels.
Expect a slice of spice
This game, therefore, may have a little more spice than you might expect and there is plenty of potential for excitement – and goals.
Celtic have shipped 15 goals in the group – an average of three per match – and, with that in mind, they could be forgiven for travelling with trepidation.
For Manchester City have scored seven goals in their previous two home ties in this competition; indeed, Guardiola’s men put three past the mighty Barcelona in their last Champions League home tie at the beginning of last month.
Bhoys dominating domestically
Rodgers’ team are virtually guaranteed domestic success this term; they’ve already won the League Cup, the Premiership title will surely follow and the Hoops will have their eyes on a treble when their Scottish Cup campaign kicks-off next month.
The Glasgow giants, though, were given a thorough examination against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday afternoon and, despite trailing 2-0 and 3-2, the Hoops passed the test with flying colours, claiming a dramatic 4-3 victory in the dying minutes of the match.
City to shine but not defensively
Man City have kept just one clean sheet in their last 15 games in all competitions and, having scored seven goals in their last two outings, the visitors will fancy their chances of, at least, getting a goal from this Champions League clash.
Guardiola’s men have won six of their last eight Champions League ties on home soil and, even with precious little at stake, they should have enough about them to further extend that impressive record here.
The hosts, however, might not have it all their own way and, instead, it is the 7/5 (Bet365) quote for Both Teams To Score and Manchester City to win that is the recommended play for punters.
Manchester City v Celtic – Manchester City to win and Both Teams To Score (7/5 Bet365)