Scottish Champions Celtic have a strong advantage in this first qualifying round tie in the UEFA Champions League. They returned from Bosnia with a 3-1 lead in the tie and now with home advantage coming up, they will be expected to close out the job pretty comfortably. Read our Celtic v Sarajevo betting tips for more.
FK Sarajevo 16/1
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 15th, 2019 at 7:16 p.m.)
Celtic are undefeated in 13 home UEFA qualifiers so that is a positive start to kick things off with for them. In that spell, they are W11 D3 in such fixtures at Celtic Park. The Hoops did concede the first goal of the first leg of this tie but fought their way back to rack up the away goals in a 3-1 win. Celtic responded with goals from Michael Johnston, Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclar, who put the icing on the cake five minutes from time. Celtic handled themselves pretty well in what was an intimidating atmosphere. Falling behind looked to actually help them settle into their groove a bit. In last year’s first qualifying round Celtic collected a 6-0 aggregate win over FC Alashkert. They went on to bow out in the third qualifying round to AEK Athens.
The first leg of this tie was the first meeting between the two clubs
Sarajevo will have been pretty happy with their start in the first fifteen minutes of the match. That was when they were at their best, but when they conceded the equaliser it was when the tide turned. They simply sat back and looked to play on the counter-attack. This is their first appearance in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League since 2015 when they lost in the second qualifying round against Lech Poznan 3-0 on aggregate. Last season they started their European campaign in the first qualifying round of the Europa League. They beat Banants but then in the second qualifying road they lost 10-2 on aggregate against Atalanta. The loser of the tie will go to the Europa League third qualifying round. No Bosnian side have ever managed to reach the group stage of a UEFA competition.
Celtic were comfortable in the end in the first leg and this as a contest should be pretty much over. Sarajevo were not a threat after the first fifteen minutes of the match and it should get a bit more difficult for them in Glasgow. Celtic to win to nil.
16th July 2019 / lee - Category: UEFA Champions League Betting
Celtic will be making a tricky trip to the Balkans for the first leg of this Champions League tie against Sarajevo. This is action from the first qualifying round of the competition, so there is a long road ahead to reach the main competition. Read our Sarajevo v Celtic betting tips for more.
FK Sarajevo 4/1
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 7th, 2019 at 3:49 a.m.)
Scottish Champions Celtic get their first taste of competitive action for the summer. The club decided to keep on Neil Lennon last season after he came in late into the term, following the departure of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester. Lennon also guided them to the FA Cup title. Naturally, there is going to be a bit of rust in the ranks and this isn’t likely to be a full strength team sent out. This could be a tricky little first away leg though if they underestimate their opponents. It’s not often that a really easy way game in Europe will happen.
Sarajevo are the national champions. They won the Bosnian league by five points last season. This isn’t their first taste of Champions League football. Prior to this season, their most recent appearance was in the 2015/16 second qualifying round where they lost 3-0 on aggregate to Lech Poznan. In the 2007/08 season, they did get through the first two qualifying round before losing to Dynamo Kyiv in the third. Sarajevo’s record in the Europan Cup/Champions League is W2 D2 L8 having scored 19 and conceded 19 goals. They have lost each of their last four games in the competition (all qualifiers).
This may just be a matter of getting a tidy job done by Celtic. There’s no need to go for broke of course with the second leg to come back on home soil. It could be a muted night out in Bosnia and it may just be worth a look at the draw.
8th July 2019 / lee - Category: UEFA Champions League Betting
Celtic v Hearts Scottish FA Cup Preview, 25th May 3.00pm
Celtic and Hearts just met on the final weekend of Premiership action and it was Celtic who came out on top. They are on the hunt for their third straight FA Cup title as well. It’s been a tough season for Hearts, could they possibly cause an upset at Hampden Park? Read our Celtic v Hearts betting tips for more.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 20th, 2019 at 11:23 p.m.)
Celtic claimed a 2-1 win over Hearts last weekend in the final weekend of Premiership action. That was their fourth win in a row against them this season in all competitions. So with the Premiership title wrapped up again, and with the League Cup in the bag again, Celtic have another shot at a treble. They have had a really easy time of things in the Scottish FA Cup this season, scoring ten unanswered goals across their three matches.
They opened with a 5-0 win over St Johnston and then took 2-0 and 3-0 away wins at Hibs and Aberdeen respectively. Celtic have lost just one of their last fourteen games across all competitions, which was their recent Old Firm derby reverse in the league against Rangers. Since a 2-1 away win at Hearts back at the end of February in the league, Celtic have conceded just four goals in their following twelve games. It’s been pretty amazing again. They have won the last two FA Cup titles (against Aberdeen and Motherwell). They have won on each of their last seven visits to the FA Cup Final.
Celtic are on a four-match winning streak against Hearts
Hearts have won just one of their last seven meetings with Celtic
Eight of the last nine meetings have gone over 2.5 goals
Celtic are W19 D5 L7 against Hearts in FA Cup matches
The last time that Hearts won the FA Cup was back in 2006 when they beat Gretna on a penalty shoot out. This is their first appearance in the final since them. Hearts are eight-time winners of the FA Cup in their history. But they will go to Hampden Park on the weekends heavy underdogs because it has been a poor season for them. They finished sixth in the Championship group of the Premiership this season, and their form lately leaves a lot to be desired.
Hearts are W2 D1 L7 in their last ten games across all competitions. So the only place where they have found a bit of cheer has been in the FA Cup. They opened with a 1-0 home win over Livingston, before thumping Auchinleck 4-0. They then needed a replay to get past Partick before taking a comfortable 3-0 win over Inverness in the semifinals. Given that Hearts have taken just one clean sheet in their last eleven games, the Jambos have a big uphill task ahead of them on the weekend.
Celtic knotw how to turn it on when it comes to the big occasion and they have had the beating of Hearts this season. It just very difficult to see where Hearts are going to come up with something different enough and special enough to take down the favourites. Celtic to win to nil.
22nd May 2019 / lee - Category: European Football Betting
Celtic already have the league title wrapped up but they will be looking for a response after losing the Old Firm derby against Rangers last weekend. They have produced a win in three of their four games against Hearts this season. Regardless of what happens here, Hearts will be finishing sixth. Read our Celtic v Hearts betting tips for more.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 15th, 2019 at 8:03 p.m.)
Celtic had been on a sixteen match undefeated streak of league form before their loss against Rangers last weekend. That was a 2-0 loss at Ibrox which they suffered. While that was their fifth away defeat of the season, they remain unbeaten in the Premiership on home soil, posting a W16 D2 record at Celtic Park. In their home campaign, this season Celtic have produced an average of 2.4 goals per game. They have conceded just the six goals on home soil this term.
In total that is a clean sheet in 72% of their home games which Celtic have earned. They have won 61% of their home fixtures to nil. Of their sixteen home wins, eleven of them have been by a margin of at least two goals. You imagine that they will be looking for a big final flourish in the league on the weekend. They still do have the FA Cup final to look forward to. That will be against Hearts on May 25th.
Celtic have won the last three meetings against Hearts in all competitions
Both teams have scored in one of the four meetings this season
Celtic are on a six-match winning streak at home against Hearts
Hearts have conceded ten goals in their last three against Celtic
After starting the season so strongly where they were top of the pile for the first twelve rounds of action, it has all gone a bit sour for Hearts. They are in a pretty big slump at the moment with just the one point earned from their last six league games. Their overall away form for the season is W7 D2 L9. On their top-flight travels, they have averaged just over a goal per game, while they have conceded at an average of 1.7 per game.
Hearts have failed to pick up a clean sheet in any of their last eight league games and in none of their last four on the road. Hearts have picked up one point form their last three away games, scoring just the two goals in that sequence of games. Of their seven away wins record this season, five of them were by a one-goal margin. Six of their nine away defeats have been by a margin of at least two goals though. With just four points from their last eight games, they probably are already just trying to plan forward for the FA Cup final.
This should be fodder for Celtic here. Hearts won’t have any interest in this and may well try and keep some cards close to their chest and rest some players ahead of the FA Cup final. This is meaningless to them. Celtic to win to nil.
15th May 2019 / lee - Category: European Football Betting
It is the penultimate day of the season and the scheduling brings about an Old Firm derby. That is some way to draw the curtains on the season. There is nothing at stake here but pride, as Celtic have already scooped up the league title yet again, while Rangers have locked down second place. Read our Rangers v Celtic betting tips for more.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 8th, 2019 at 4:40 p.m.)
Rangers have put together a fine streak of form at the end of the season. They are now on a five-match winning streak in the top flight, having conceded just the one goal in that run of games. Their only loss in their last fourteen league fixtures happened at Celtic right at the end of March. Earlier this season when Rangers hosted their rivals in the league, they did get the better of them with a 1-0 success. Can they pull off a repeat result?
Rangers have won their last three on home soil and they are unbeaten in their last ten Premiership home games. Their overall home record for the season is W13 D4 L1 and they have averaged 2.4 goals per home game this season. Their defence has also been tremendous. They have taken a clean sheet in 61% of all home games played, having shipped just seven goals at Ibrox in the top flight. Of their thirteen homes win, ten of them have been by a one-goal margin. Rangers have opened the scoring in 15 of 18 home fixtures.
Celtic are W2 L1 in their three league games against the Gers this season
Rangers earned a 1-0 home success at Ibrox earlier in the season
Both teams have scored in just two of the last eight meetings in all competitions
Four of the last five meetings have ended in a win for the home team
Once again Celtic have won the league title. They have won their last two league games, not conceding in either of those. Actually Celtic are on a five-match stretch of clean sheets and in total, they have conceded just one goal in their last eight games. Considering that they have met Aberdeen twice and Rangers once in that sequence, says a lot about their strengths. Celtic have won six of their last seven away games and again the clean sheets have stacked up. They have not conceded in any of their last four road games. It’s been one goal against in their last seven on the road.
The overall away record of Celtic this season in the Premiership is W10 D4 L4 and they have averaged 1.7 goals per away game. They have conceded just the 11 goals on their travels, earning a clean sheet in 61% of their road fixtures. Just 39% of their away games have made it over 2.5 goals. Of the four defeats which they have suffered this season, three of them have been by a one-goal margin. Celtic are currently undefeated in their last sixteen league games now, home and away. Of the goals which they have conceded on their travels, 73% of them have been in the second half of games.
The meetings between the two Glasgow rivals have been tight this season and there’s no reason to expect anything else. Neither are playing for anything, but because this is Rangers with the home soil advantage, they may have an extra pep in their step to push for the win.
8th May 2019 / lee - Category: European Football Betting
It is about pride at this point for Rangers. They go into the weekend’s Old Firm derby a massive 10 points behind league leaders Celtic. With a drop off in form, the Gers have let their rivals pull further and further ahead. Will Celtic open the gap even wider on home soil against them on the weekend? Read our Celtic v Rangers betting tips for more.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on March 27th, 2019 at 4:50 p.m.)
Celtic’s form can’t be faulted at all. They are now W9 D1 in their last ten Premiership fixtures. The drawn game in that sequence happened in their last home game, a 0-0 draw against third-placed Aberdeen. Celtic are W14 D1 L0 at home this season in the top flight and in those games, they have averaged 2.7 goals per fixture. Celtic have only shipped 5 goals in their 15 home fixtures.
That is a clean sheet in 73% of home games from the Bhoys this season. Still, 60% of games at Celtic Park have made it over 2.5 goals. Celtic have won 67% of their home games to nil. Only three of their home success in the league have been by a one-goal margin. Celtic have also been winning at half time in 10 of their 15 games. The Bhoys have scored in all home fixtures this season.
The two have traded 1-0 home wins in this season’s top flight
Both teams have scored in just one of the last seven meetings in all competitions
Rangers have won just one of their last 16 Old Firm derby matches
Celtic haven’t conceded in their last four home games against Rangers (W3 D1)
Rangers haven’t been able to keep up the pace. They have drawn three of their last five played (W2) which has proven costly. So even though they are on a good eight-match undefeated streak of form at the moment, it’s not been enough to reel in their rivals. In their last four away games in the Premiership Rangers are at W3 D1 L1. They have scored a total of 13 in that sequence of fixtures.
Their real turning point happened in a 2-1 loss at Kilmarnock at the end of January on their return from the winter break. Going into the winter break they had just claimed a win over Celtic. Each of Rangers’ three away losses this season have been by a one-goal margin only. The Gers have been leading at the halftime break in 8 of their road games. They are currently on a four match undefeated streak on their travels. Rangers have scored 62% of their away goals in the first period of fixtures.
Celtic should have the upper hand once again on home soil against their big rivals. This is likely going to be a low scoring encounter again. Celtic to win to nil looks a pretty solid proposition.
29th March 2019 / lee - Category: European Football Betting
The third Premiership Old Firm derby then of the season will be here on the weekend, and it has already been announced that these two will be meeting up in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup as well. This is a battle between the top two in the Scottish Premiership and Rangers really need to bust out a win at Ibrox on Sunday to try and reel the leaders into just the three points, even though Celtic will still have a game in hand.
Celtic 17/20, Draw 13/5, Rangers 3/1* (Betting Odds taken at 00:22 p.m. on February 20th, 2018)
It has been an excellent season for Rangers who are currently running on a four-match winning streak in the top flight. They have been scoring freely as well and they have netted at least two goals in six of their last seven games played. At home, they are won three of their last four (L1) and each of the wins in that sequence were by a 2-0 scoreline. If that was to happen in this one it would make the title race interesting but at bet365 a Rangers 2-0 scoreline is out at 20/1 odds with the shortest option being the 1-1 draw at 11/2* (Betting Odds taken at 6:43 p.m. on February 20th, 2018). The Gers are W7 D2 L5 at home this season where they have averaged 1.6 goals per game and have conceded at just over a goal per games. Including this one, there are just four games of the season left before the split happens so this would be a huge move for Rangers if they get the three points. The Gers have scored in each of their last seven at home and both teams to score at Bet365 is at 3/4 odds.
Celtic have only gone W1 D1 L1 in their last three league games now so they have been having a bit of a stutter. They have gone W3 L2 in their last three away games in the league and away from Celtic Park this season in the top flight, the Bhoys are W10 D2 L2. So there should be a window of opportunity for Rangers here. Celtic have scored at least two goals in three of their last four road games and over 2.5 goals at bet365 is at 19/20* (Betting Odds taken at 6:43 p.m. on February 20th, 2018). Celtic have no issues with their scoring rate at all of course and they have averaged 1.8 goals per away game so far. Defensively they have been great on the road as well, having conceded at well under a goal per game on average. Only two of the wins they have posted away from home this season have been by a one-goal margin, everything else has been bigger. 70% of the goals that they have conceded away from home have come in the second half of matches. Celtic have opened the scoring in all but four of their away games this season and their most frequent away result this term is a 2-0 scoreline in their favour, which has happened four times. They have earned a clean sheet in exactly half of their away games.
This will be the second meeting this season between them at Ibrox, with Celtic winning 2-0 there back in September. When they met at Celtic Park in December there was a gritty 0-0 draw played out. Celtic are W6 D2 L0 in their last eight games against Rangers in all competitions so have a clear advantage in the head to head. Celtic have won their last two league visits to Ibrox as well.
With Celtic just a little off pace at the moment it may be worth backing Rangers to pull out something big on the day and get the home win in the bag. It would certainly make things a little interesting before the pending split.
28th February 2019 / lee - Category: Betting Advice
It is all uphill now for Celtic if they want to get through to the round of sixteen in the Europa League. The Hoops were torn apart on home soil by an efficient display from Valencia. Celtic have a 2-0 deficit to overturn. Read our Valencia v Celtic betting tips for more.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on February 17th, 2019 at 7:16 p.m.)
Valencia are really in the driving seat now in this tie having taken a strong 2-0 away win at Celtic Park. That is a tough deficit for their Scottish opponents to try and overcome. Valencia are a top ten side in La Liga on a good streak of form there. They are a hard side to beat although they have done more of their fair share of drawing matches this season. At the Mestalla the Spaniards are currently on a huge twelve match undefeated streak of form, winning eight of those.
They have only conceded one goal in their last five games as well at home in all competitions. There has been another strong trend with them as they have scored at least two goals in five of their last eight home fixtures. Valencia dropped down from the Champions League this season having finished behind Juventus and Man Utd. They won two of their three home games (losing against Juve).
Valencia hold a 2-0 lead in the tie from the first leg
Valencia are W3 D1 L1 in their five previous games against Celtic
Celtic have lost their two previous trips to Valencia
Both teams have NOT scored in any of the last three meetings
Do Celtic have enough to turn this around? They were poor in that first leg, looking really sloppy and giving the ball away. They were outsmarted by their Spanish counterparts basically. Celtic have taken a W3 D1 L2 record in their last six games away from home in all competitions. Their European season started back in the Champions League qualifiers were they went W1 D1 L1 in their three away games.
In the group stage of this season’s Europa League, they opened with back to back away defeats against Salzburg and Leipzig before edging Rosenborg 1-0 in their final round match. The Hoops are going to have to come up with something drastically different to the performance and tactics from the first leg. Celtic bowed out of last season’s Europa League at this stage following a 3-0 away defeat at Zenit St Petersburg.
Celtic looked a bit lost in how to handle a good European team in that first leg. Not many teams get much change out of visits to the Mestalla. Celtic are likely to come up short. Valencia to win.
19th February 2019 / lee - Category: Europa League Betting
Can Celtic give themselves a good leg-up in this tie at Celtic Park? It could be crucial for their chances of making it through. The Spaniards beat Celtic back in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup and could prove a stubborn opponent for Scottish champions once again. Read our Celtic v Valencia betting tips for more.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on February 11th, 2019 at 11:18 p.m.)
Celtic did not have an easy time of things in the group stage. They only made it through to the knockout phase thanks to a helping hand from Rosenborg on matchday six. Celtic had lost at home against Salzburg on matchday six, but Rosenborg’s draw put the Scottish champions through. Celtic have only met Valencia once before which was in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup which Celtic lost on penalties at home in. Celtic don’t have a great record against Spanish sides winning only seven of 30 previous matches. Their home record against Spanish sides is W7 D2 L6. Celtic have lost five of their last eight home games against Spanish opposition. This is Celtic’s third appearance at this stage and only the second time from five attempts they have gotten out of the group stage. They were though on a good seven-match undefeated streak of European home form before losing against Salzburg on matchday six.
Valencia failed to make progress from their group in the Champions League, missing out to Juventus and Manchester United. The Spaniards did get four points out of their two games against Manchester United though, helping them to a W2 D2 L2 record in the group. The Spaniards have a perfect record from five previous round of 32 ties in the Europa League. They are undefeated in their last seven fixtures at this stage of the competition and not only that, and Valencia banked a clean sheet in each of those matches. But still, they haven’t done a lot of winning on their travels, getting just two in their last eleven on the road in Europe (L7). Incidentally, Valencia have drawn more league games in La Liga (13) than any other team have this season.
This has the look of a draw about it. Valencia appear to be a tough side to break down but they are strong favourites for this tie. So we are going to stick with the Spaniards avoiding defeat at Celtic Park. Outright draw at 12/5 odds* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on February 11th, 2019 at 11:18 p.m.)
12th February 2019 / lee - Category: Europa League Betting
It is a heavyweight clash in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday lunchtime as we get the second Old Firm Derby of the season. Boxing Day was quite telling at the top of the table with Rangers losing ground on leaders Celtic. Can the Gers use home advantage to pull level on points with their great rival? Read our Rangers v Celtic betting tips for more.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on December 27th, 2018 at 7:34 p.m.)
Rangers were denied a win late on at home against Hibs in a big clash on Boxing Day
The Gers are unbeaten in five league games (W2 D3)
Their home form for the season in the Premiership is W7 D2 L1
They have to win here to really keep the title race open
Three points put them level with Celtic, but the Gers have played a game more
At home, Rangers have averaged 2.7 goals per league game
They have only shipped the six goals at Ibrox in the top flight as well
40% of league games this season at Ibrox have made it over 3.5 goals
Each of their last three home games though have gone under
There has been a clean sheet for Rangers in 40% of their home fixtures
In eight of their ten home games, Rangers have been winning at half time (D1 L1)
Rangers have opened the scoring in all but one of their home games this season
Celtic are the only side to hold a better home record than Rangers
Celtic took a 1-0 win at home against Rangers earlier this season
The Bhoys are on a four-match winning streak against the Gers in all competitions
Rangers have scored in just one of their last six games against Celtic
Celtic earned a 3-2 win in their last league game at Ibrox
Rangers are on a four-match losing streak at home in the league against Celtic
Celtic took a battling 4-3 win at Aberdeen on Boxing Day
That was their third straight top-flight victory in the Premiership
The Boys have scored at least three goals in five of their last seven fixtures
They were just W1 D2 L1 in four away games before that win at Aberdeen
Their overall away form in the league is W4 D3 L3
Celtic have tallied 20 goals and have conceded nine on their travels
30% of their away fixtures have gone over 4.5 goals
They have claimed a win to nil in 30% of their road games this season
Both teams have scored in just 30% of Celtic’s away games
Just once this season have Celtic been trailing at half time away from home
They have scored 65% of their away goals in the first half of mixtures
Celtic have conceded 78% of their away goals in the second period of matches
One negative is that they don’t have a clean sheet in any of their last three away from home
They have conceded at least two goal in each of their two most recent away games
Celtic have turned out some big results recently and it’s not a big stretch to see them do it again. This is really where they can take full control of the title challenge by seeing off their rivals once against. Celtic to win by a one goal margin.
28th December 2018 / lee - Category: European Football Betting