Celtic v Linfield: Hoops generously priced to take an early lead

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Celtic cruised to a 2-0 victory at Windsor Park in the first leg of their Champions League meeting with Linfield. Brendan Rodgers’ men sewed the game up early, with two goals in the opening 25 minutes. And there’s plenty of value in backing the Bhoys for another fast start at Parkhead.

The Hoops have led by the quarter-hour mark in four of their last eight games – including Friday’s meeting in Belfast. So the 9/5 for Celtic to lead at the 15-minute mark looks very generously priced.

On a related note, the Hoops’ last five games have thrown up a combined 10 first-half goals. And considering the limitations of their visitors here, the 5/6 on offer for Over 1.5 First Half Goals looks like easy money.

One man who could prove vital again is Tom Rogic. The Australian netted the second at Linfield, making it two games on the bounce where he’s scored the final goal. He’s 11/10 to net anytime, though we prefer the 5/1 for the 24-year-old to be Last Goalscorer here.

However, we would be surprised to see anyone in Linfield colours register a goal.

The Northern Irish champions have mustered a modest three goals in their last 15 UCL games, while Rodgers’ side have conceded just four times in their last eight outings.

That makes Celtic to win to nil look like a banker at 1/3, while the more ambitious punter could find value in the hosts racking up the goals, with a 5-0 win priced at 13/2 and 6-0 available at 11/1.

The hosts’ likely dominance is certainly reflected in the match betting prices, with the Hoops 1/66 for a second-leg victory, while it’s 14/1 we see a draw and 28/1 for the Blues to win on the night.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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