Last month Kris Commons was named among UEFA’s list of the 35 best players in Europe for the 2013-14 season and as Celtic prepare for their Champions League qualifier with Maribor, there’s never been a better time for both player and punter to put their money where their mouth is.
The 30-year-old Scotland international scored 32 goals for the Bhoys last season and here at Ladbrokes we are backing Commons to continue where he left off, with the attacking midfielder boosted to score first in Slovenia.
Commons has something of a track record for getting important goals for the Scottish champions in this competition, having netted the opener in the Bhoys’ 2-0 win over Helsingborg at this stage of the competition two seasons ago.
That win lit the touch paper for a memorable European campaign that saw Celtic reach the last 16 of the Champions League, with Commons converting a crucial penalty in a victory over Spartak Moscow in December of that year that sealed progress.
Likely to be on spot-kick duty again, Commons has moved from 11/2 to open to scoring against Maribor to a much more enticing 13/2.
Celtic goals certainly look likely in Slovenia, with Maribor conceding in each of their previous four competitive fixtures going into this encounter.
The Bhoys have been banging in the goals of late too, with nine scored in their previous two Scottish Premiership fixtures heading into this encounter.
Legia Warsaw’s substitution error in the previous round may have granted Celtic a reprieve from what was shaping up to be an abject 6-1 loss on aggregate and that escape could ultimately galvanise the Hoops to play with a freedom and confidence previously lacking.
The performance of Commons will be key, but if the former Nottingham Forest and Derby County midfielder can deliver the kind of magic Celtic fans have come to expect, then both the club and Ladbrokes customers could be laughing all the way to the bank.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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