Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Prediction: Celtic vs Salzburg

Verdict: Both Teams to Score – Yes

Best Odds: 13/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Celtic head into a crunch clash against Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg in the final round of the Europa League group stage. Scottish side need only a point against the table toppers to secure their place in the knockout stage of the competition.

Celtic

Sitting in second in Group B with nine points to their name, Celtic are in for a do-or-die encounter against a side that’s yet to drop a single point in the competition. The previous encounter between the two sides saw Salzburg run out as 3-1 winners but a different outcome is needed this time around if the Hoops want to keep their European hopes alive.

Brendan Rodgers recovered well from the October loss. Later that month they recorded their last defeat to German’s RB Leipzig and went on an unbeaten run which currently extends to ten consecutive games in all competitions. The Scottish champions will have huge support from their fans and will be hoping to at least get a point that would see them finish the group stage ahead of the third-placed RB Leipzig. The numbers are also speaking in favour of Celtic who have yet to lose a single European game at home ground this season. All eyes will be on Odsonne Edouard who bagged nine goals in his last 14 outings for Celtic.

Team News

Brendan Rodgers will have a huge selection headache ahead of the crucial Europa League game knowing that as many as six first-team players are under a serious doubt.

Kristoffer Ajer, Daniel Arzani, Nir Bitton, Dedryck Boyata, Marvin Compper and Kouassi Eboue are all unlikely to be in contention for another European night at Paradise.

Salzburg

The Austrian title holders will be keen to maintain their perfect group stage record as they prepare for a trip to Celtic Park in Glasgow. Salzburg already secured their ticket into the knockouts and clinched the first place position in the group by beating RB Leipzig in their last European outing.

Such a comfortable position will remove all pressure and hence make the visitors deadly and unpredictable. Without any competitive edge or points to fight for, Salzburg can be particularly keen to impress for the sake of entertainment and this should come as a warning sign for the hosts. A record of four victories to nil in last five outings for Salzburg is ominous. What’s more, Salzburg only failed to score once in their 29 games this season and there is no doubt Celtic will be made to work hard to achieve their goal of staying unbeaten. One to watch in the visiting side is definitely Munas Dabbur who’s netter 19 goals this season. Five of those came in the Europa League, including two in the previous match against Celtic.

Team News

Amadou Haidara picked up a knee injury earlier in November and remains ruled out for the occasion, together with Reinhold Yabo who is suffering from an ankle problem.

Austrian midfielder Patrick Farkas, Germany youngster Kilian Ludewig and Swiss midfielder Jasper van der Werf are also on the injury list.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Celtic must avoid defeat in order to qualify to the knockout stages
  • The Hoops are coming off from a ten-match unbeaten run in all competitions
  • Celtic have yet to lose a European home match this campaign
  • Four of Salzburg’s last five matches were all victories to nil
  • The Austrian side failed to score in just one of their 29 matches this season

Conclusion

Celtic are in for a fight against Austrian champions Salzburg. Visitors might have already secured both their passage into the knockouts and first place in group B but their overall record and flying form suggest they will not be dropping their guard down. Brendan Rodgers’ men are also enjoying a purple patch of late so this should be an entertaining match to say the least.

Verdict: Both Teams to Score – Yes

Best Odds: 13/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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