Brendan Rodgers’ European journey with Celtic begins in the sunny climes of Gibraltar this evening, and the Hoops are set to record a comfortable victory against a hard-working but limited Lincoln Red Imps side.
Despite Gib’s recent UEFA status, Lincoln aren’t really minnows, having lifted the last 14 league titles in their homeland, and they beat Flora Tallinn of Estonia earlier this month to earn a historic tie against the Bhoys – but though they could offer a goal, they’ll be no match for Rodgers’ men.
The Hoops dispatched of Icelandic side Stjarnan at this stage last season, with a 4-1 away victory giving them a convincing 6-1 aggregate triumph – and with the signings of Kristoffer Ajer and Moussa Dembele this summer, they look even better prepared this time out.
That means Celtic (2/15) look the men to back in the match betting, with a draw at 15/2 and a historic Lincoln win a 22/1 shot. However, with such a short price for the former European Cup winners to taste victory tonight, there is better value to be had on backing the Hoops elsewhere.
Perhaps the best bet is on Leigh Griffiths to score twice or more at 7/4. The prolific hitman did just that on eight occasions last season – including a Champions League brace against Swedish giants Malmo – and faces a defence who will struggle to match his energy. Meanwhile, it’s 6/1 he nets a hat-trick at Victoria Stadium.
Meanwhile, a repeat of the 4-1 scoreline Celtic managed at Stjarnan could prove to be a very savvy selection at 14/1, with the otherwise solid Imps likely to struggle with the pace and leak goals as the game wears on.
Indeed, the Imps have conceded three times beyond the 80-minute mark in their eight European outings so far, meaning that fans of in-play action should back Celtic to score next with ten minutes to go in this one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.