SCOTTISH football expert Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) previews Wednesday night's Champions League encounter between Barcelona and Celtic.
Celtic v Barcelona | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport ESPN
Celtic and Barcelona lock horns once again in the Champions League – and Brendan Rodgers’ men can make things a wee bit more competitive this time around, having suffered a humiliating 7-0 defeat when they travelled to Camp Nou in the opening game of the campaign.
No, I don’t think that Celtic are capable of getting a result against the Catalans akin to the one that they achieved when young Tony Watt (whatever happened to him?!) got amongst the goals as the Hoops beat Barcelona at Celtic Park back in 2012, even though the Scottish side barely got a touch of the ball for long spells that night.
Nor do I expect anything less than a comfortable away win from this fixture with Luis Enrique’s men desperate to atone for their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City last time out, but there could well be value to be had in backing the home side to get on the scoresheet.
Barcelona's soft centre
For all of Barcelona’s brilliance in the final third – and let’s face it, they have got it in bucketloads – they still have a wee bit of a soft centre at times; indeed, Barcelona have conceded in nine of their last 11 Champions League ties away from home and in all but one of their last seven away days in all competitions.
Luis Enrique’s side have leaked 10 goals in their last four fixtures on their travels and they had to come from behind to take all three points when they faced Borussia Monchengladbach in their opening away game of this season’s Champions League campaign.
Bhoys capable of hurting Catalans
It would be something of a stretch to suggest that Celtic’s 1-0 win against Kilmarnock on Friday night was perfect preparation for this match, but it did keep the Hoops happy on the domestic front and Brendan Rodgers’ side have found the net in all but one of their last 13 fixtures in all competitions.
Leigh Griffiths can be deadly from a set-piece situation, while Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele have been regular goal-getters for the Hoops so far this season and, despite the very obvious gulf in class between the teams, the Scottish champions certainly have players capable of making the visitors pay if Enrique’s team are slack at the back.
Backing Both Teams To Score, therefore, at 10/11 with bet365 may well provide punters with a path to profit ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League crunch clash from Celtic Park.
Celtic v Barcelona – Both Teams To Score (10/11 Bet365)