Sunday, April 21, 2024

Prediction: Celtic vs Lille OSC

Prediction: Correct Score – Lille to win 3-0

Odds: 18/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

Lille will be aiming to seal top spot in Group H of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening as they travel to Scotland to face out-of-form Celtic.

Christophe Galtier’s men have already managed managed to qualify for the knockout rounds of the competition with just one match remaining. Meanwhile, the Hoops have been hugely disappointing this season but have an opportunity to notch a morale-boosting victory against the French outfit.

Celtic

Coming into this match, Celtic boss Neil Lennon is under severe pressure due to a poor run of form. The Scottish Premiership outfit have only won two matches out of their last 12 in all competitions, their worst run of form since 1998. Those horrendous results have of course been present in the UEFA Europa League this term, with the club already set to finish bottom of their group having claimed just one point from their five matches in the competition. Only Ludogorets and Gent have secured fewer points than Celtic in the Europa League this season. The team’s main problem in both Europe and indeed domestically has been their defensive record. They have conceded more goals than any club in the Europa League thus far with 17. As a matter of fact, they have also not managed to keep a clean sheet since early November.

Team News

With the game set to be a dead rubber, Celtic boss Lennon might well be tempted to rotate his side, however considering the pressure on his shoulders, the Hoops could go strong. Vasilis Barkas, who started at the weekend, could continue in goal. Elsewhere, James Forrest has not featured in a matchday squad since September due to an ankle injury.

Lille OSC

In what is a complete opposite to their hosts, French outfit Lille actually come into the meeting at Celtic Park in very positive form. Les Dogues have only lost one out of their 18 matches in all competitions in 2020/21, meaning do they not only occupy top spot in their Europa League group but also second in the Ligue 1 standings. Some of their best showings in Europe this season have come on the road, an advantage that may play into their hands on Thursday. They at first dispatched of Sparta Prague 4-1, before then racking up a highly impressive 3-0 victory in Milan last month. Lille have not won three consecutive Europa League games since 2009 so could reach a milestone should they win against Celtic on Thursday.

Team News

Zeki Celik is ruled out for the visitors after not appearing in each of his side’s prior six games in all competitions. He is likely to be replaced by Tiago Djalo. The French outfit could have a considerable returnee in their starting line-up in the form of Renato Sanches, who has sat out the last two games.

Key Facts To Consider

  • The last match between the two in France ended 2-2
  • Celtic have not failed to score in a home European tie since a defeat to Valencia during the 2018/19 season
  • Celtic have conceded in every game in the Europa League so far this season
  • Celtic have never lost four consecutive European matches on home soil
  • Paris Saint Germain are the only French side to ever win at Celtic Park

Conclusion

Whilst Celtic fans will be looking for encouragement of a positive result this time around, it’s going to be extremely tough on Thursday. They come up against a Lille side who are in fantastic form and scoring goals with regularity. Meanwhile, the Hoops simply cannot stop conceding so it should be a comfortable victory for the French outfit on Thursday evening.

Prediction: Correct Score – Lille to win 3-0

Odds: 18/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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