A Norway-native who made his name in the country’s Tippeligaen, Ronny Deila could receive a Scandinavian kick-start to his Celtic career with victory in the first-leg of this Champions League qualifier in Iceland.
Celtic are heavy favourites for the win at 7/20, and while KR Reykjavik may boast home advantage their KR-völlur stadium ‘boasts’ a capacity of just under 2,800, making the price of 13/2 on a home win one to avoid with the draw also best dodged at 16/5.
Given that the Bhoys are unlikely to be fazed by the setting and boasting a good record against Scandinavian sides at this stage of the competition, here are three bets that look nailed on for success.
In recent years the Hoops have faced their fair share of opposition from the upper reaches of Europe at this stage of qualification for the Champions League with recent foes including HJK and Helsingborg.
On both occasions the Bhoys ran out comfortable winners on the road and with KR Reykjavik undoubtedly posing far less of a threat it looks a safe bet to back Celtic for a win with a margin of two goals or more, so get on the handicap result to double your money.
Those two victories over HJK and Helsingborg came by a scoreline of exactly 2-0 and while Reykjavik are undoubtedly weaker opposition, Celtic could start cautiously under new boss Ronny Deila, with this game his first competitive fixture in charge of the Hoops.
The Bhoys are also without key striker Georgios Samaras who left the club this summer and while we expect it to be comfortable, we don’t think a rugby score is on the cards in Iceland. As far as correct score bets go, 2-0 looks a good one.
But for all the talk of Celtic playing a cautious game, we still predict the Bhoys to come flying out of the blocks with a goal, or perhaps two, in the opening half.
Last summer the Hoops played Cliftonville at this stage of Champions League qualifying and were 2-0 up by half-time. We predict the Icelandic team to put up more of a fight but not much, so get on the Bhoys to be winning at half-time and full-time.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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