Celtic v Rosenborg | Wednesday 25th July 2018, 19:45 | Premier Sports
Last season Celtic went into the Champions League qualifiers with no fit strikers so Brendan Rodgers will be thankful he has Odsonne Edouard ready and willing to face Rosenborg.
Rodgers went with a two-pronged French attack of Edouard and Moussa Dembele as Alashkert were brushed aside 6-0 on aggregate in the previous round. But Celtic have been hit with a massive injury blow with Dembele ruled out of both legs with a hamstring injury and Leigh Griffiths isn’t fully fit either.
So it could be Edouard up top on his own, supported by the likes of James Forrest, Callum McGregor and possibly Scott Sinclair. Jozo Simunovic’s red card in the second leg added to Rodgers’ defensive woes and the last thing he needed was a problem in attack.
Dedryck Boyata is still on holiday, Mikael Lustig hasn’t played and Marvin Compper is injured so it will be a young backline that faces Rosenborg.
The sides met last season and Celtic went through 1-0 in Trondheim after a 0-0 home draw. This time Rodgers will be determined to get the job done at Parkhead. Celtic are a best 1/2 at BetVictor but I’d have been more confident if Dembele was playing.
Rosenborg clearly aren’t as good as last season and after an injury-time Niklas Bendtner penalty saw off Valur in the last round they sacked boss Kare Ingebrigsten. However, this move has caused anger in the camp with stars demanding he be reinstated.
New gaffer Rini Coolen has a tough task in winning over the players and not much time to prepare for this challenge. I fancy Celtic to take advantage of the chaos and even without Dembele they can win by at least two at 7/5 with BetBright.
All four meetings between the sides have gone Under 2.5 Goals so a 1-0 or 2-0 Celtic win is possible. To win to nil they are 5/4 at BetVictor but the chances of this landing will depend on how youngsters such as Kris Ajer and Jack Hendry perform if they’re paired in the centre of defence.
I’m backing Edouard to score first at 7/2 with Bet365and he is 6/5 (Bet365) to net at any time. Last season’s goal hero Forrest has a decent record in Europe and is 15/2 (Betfair) to break the deadlock.
Celtic v Rosenborg – Celtic to win to nil (5/4 Boylesports)
Celtic v Rosenborg – Odsonne Edouard to score first (7/2 Bet365)