Zenit v Celtic: Hoops to be frozen out in St Petersburg

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SCOTTISH football expert Mr Fixit (@MrFixitTips) previews Thursday night’s Europa League contest between Zenit and Celtic.

Zenit v Celtic | Thursday 22nd February 2018, 18:00 | BT Sport

I fancied Zenit to qualify before a ball was kicked last week and I’m standing by that tip. No one was Russian to put money on Celtic but Brendan Rodgers’s side deserved their 1-0 win and probably more.

Three things need to happen in ice-cold St Petersburg to prevent the Hoops being frozen out.

  1. They need to score – and preferably first.
  2. They must defend for their lives
  3. Zenit have to play below their best as they were in Glasgow.

The Russians were about 1/2 to go through at the start of the tie so a best 13/10 with Marathon attracts while Celtic are 7/10 favourites at Unibet. To win on the night Zenit are 3/5 while the Scots are 11/2.

We know all about Celtic’s poor away record while Zenit won all three at home in the group stage and eight of their last 10 in Europe. A 1-0 home win that forces extra-time pays 6-1 while Zenit -1 is better than the qualifying price at 17/10 with Ladbrokes.

A Celtic away goal – and they scored at PSG and Anderlecht – pays 4/6 at Ladbrokes and will force Zenit to find three.

Striker Aleksandr Kokorin was kept quiet at Parkhead but will need to shine and is favourite at 4/1 with Betfair to break the deadlock.

Moussa Dembele caused the Russian defence problems in the first leg and is 16/5 at Unibet to score.

Best Bets

Zenit v Celtic – Zenit to qualify (13/10 Marathon)

Zenit v Celtic – Aleksandr Kokorin to score first (4/1 Betfair)

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