Thursday, November 21, 2019

Prediction: Celtic vs Lazio

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 23 Oct 2019

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Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: bet365

Celtic are set to welcome Lazio to the Celtic Park in Glasgow for what will be the third round in a very interesting Group E of this season’s Europa League. Meanwhile, CFR Cluj will be playing against Rennes in France.

Celtic

Celtic have been the undisputed rulers of Scottish football for seven years now, ever since they snatched the title away from arch-rivals Rangers in 2012. They’re keeping the tradition going at the moment as they sit on top of the table, but Rangers are now hot on their heels once more, with the same number of points (22 from nine games) and even the same goal-difference. With Steven Gerrard putting together a formidable side at the Ibrox, Celtic will have a really tough battle on their hands to retain the title.

It’s a very similar situation in the Europa League as well at the moment. They top the group with four points from the previous two clashes, having drawn 1-1 away to Rennes in the opening round before they beat Cluj 2-0 at home, but the rest of the pack is not far away.

Team News

Manager Neil Lennon will have the services of midfielder Nir Bitton and winger Marian Shved, who are both back in contention following injury. Defender Jozo Simunovic and forward Michael Johnston are also back in training, but this game will come too soon for them as they work on rebuilding their match fitness.

Lazio

Lazio have had a very different 15 years than Celtic, at least when it comes to the domestic scene. Once considered a huge club with a team of fantastic quality, capable of winning against any opposition, they are now a mid-table side in a very different-looking Serie A. Italian teams haven’t been able to challenge for European honors for a long time (apart from Juventus, obviously), and Lazio’s current position in the table fully reflects the malaise that seems to have befallen them.

At the moment they are in seventh place with 12 points, ten less than league leaders Juventus, from eight games. It can be argued that the Serie A is still of quality significantly higher than the Scottish Premiership, but as they say, you can only beat what’s in front of you, and Celtic will certainly be glad that they aren’t facing the Lazio of the 1990s. The 2019/20 season has seen head coach Simone Inzaghi lead the team to the worst start of a league campaign since his appointment in 2016.

Lazio currently find themselves in third place in the Europa League group with three points to their name, having lost to Cluj in Romania by 2-1 and beaten Rennes in Rome by the same result.

Team News

Inzaghi shouldn’t have any absentees from his squad for this game, with midfielder Lucas Leiva eligible to play having missed Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Atalanta due to suspension.

Conclusion

This game doesn’t seem likely to an entertaining one. Neither of the two teams will be keen to open the contest up, with Celtic usually careful against European competition and known to keep things tight at the back, it’s questionable if Lazio would be able to get going properly. Therefore, there shouldn’t be too many goals in this one.

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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