Celtic face a tough task when they welcome Barcelona to Parkhead in their latest Group G match in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Scottish side put in a heroic but ultimately futile effort when they lost 2-1 to Barca at the Nou Camp two weeks ago and it looks a tall order to get anything out of this latest fixture.
Barca were indebted to a last minute goal from Jordi Alba to beat Celtic last time and there will be no danger of them underestimating Celtic, with BetVictor making Barcelona 1/3 odds on favourites this week. Celtic are 10/1 to cause one of the great upsets and 9/2 to draw as they bid to strengthen their own position in Group G.
The SPL leaders were so unlucky to lose in Spain a fortnight ago as they defended valiantly for much of the night and they will no doubt look to do likewise again. Chasing the shadows of the Barcelona players for 90 minutes can be a tiring game though and we fancy Barca should come through, with Bet Victor offering an industry best price 7/2 for the half-time draw and full-time Barca win on Wednesday.
Celtic have actually taken their eye off the ball in the SPL since losing to Barca as they lost at home to Kilmarnock and drew 2-2 with Dundee United. They did beat St Johnstone 5-0 in the Scottish Cup as Kris Commons helped himself to a hat-trick and he is 15/1 to be first goalscorer. However, when looking at first goalscorers in this Celtic v Barcelona match it is tough to look beyond the wealth of attacking talent that Barca boast.
Lionel Messi has been passed fit for the game and he is 23/10 favourite to score first and 9/4 to score two or more, although for a touch more value it could be worth a look at David Villa. The Spaniard has taken his time to get back into the swing of things after suffering a broken leg last season but he is in red hot form heading to Parkhead as he has scored three in his last three and he is 4/1 to score first, as well as a 5/1 punt to score two or more.
Barca are in red hot form themselves as they have enjoyed their best ever start to the Spanish La Liga, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games, and they have also won three from three in Group G of the Champions League. They keep on enhancing their record in the Champions League, which now stands at 16 wins and just one defeat in their last 21.
They have been formidable away from home, winning seven and losing one of the last nine, and they have kept six clean sheets during that run. Furthermore, they have won to nil in three of their last four away games in all competitions and Victor Chandler go 11/10 for Barca to keep a clean sheet.
The Spanish giants may be without Adriano, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Eric Abidal this week but they could prove too strong for a Celtic side that have won just three of their last 11 European games at home. Celtic may have lost just five of 59 home games in the European Cup but two of those defeats came against Barcelona and the Spaniards could add a third to that list on Wednesday.
Celtic v Barcelona Form
Check the season's statistics for both Celtic and Barcelona, plus the odds ahead of Wednesday's match.
Celtic v Barcelona Tips
Tip #1: Double result of a half-time draw and full-time Barcelona win @ 7/2 with BetVictor.
Tip #2: David Villa to score two or more goals @ 5/1 with BetVictor.
Tip #3: Barcelona to keep a clean sheet @ 11/10 with BetVictor.
Correct Score Odds
28/1 Celtic 1-0
80/1 Celtic 2-0
28/1 Celtic 2-1
22/1 Draw 0-0
10/1 Draw 1-1
20/1 Draw 2-2
8/1 Barcelona 1-0
13/2 Barcelona 2-0
8/1 Barcelona 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
23/10 Lionel Messi
4/1 David Villa
11/2 Alexis Sanchez
6/1 Cesc Fabregas
15/2 Cristian Tello
17/2 Isaac Cuenca
17/2 Gary Hooper
9/1 Nicolas Fedor
21/2 Andres Iniesta
21/2 Xavi Hernandez
Odds supplied by BetVictor.com, who offer live betting in-running for all Champions League matches.
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