Celtic to score, Zenit to show class and Metalist to qualify
With the introduction of the ‘elite’ teams and the potential financial reward that lies in wait, the Champions League qualifiers are really beginning to heat up.
And while qualification would secure a fantastic monetary reward for the clubs involved, this treble paying just over 7/1 can do the same for the customer.
Celtic v Elfsborg – Celtic to score over 0.5 goals 3/10
Celtic will be full of optimism heading into the return-leg of their second round qualifier against Elfsborg. The Bhoys won the first match 1-0 and while the Swedish side are a solid outfit at home, Neil Lennon’s men can be confident of securing an away goal at least.
In six of their last seven Champions League games, Celtic have scored at least one goal on the road. That run includes a 3-2 win against Spartak Moscow and a goal at the Nou Camp in a valiant 2-1 defeat against Barcelona. Georgios Samaras returns to the side after missing out at the weekend and is priced at 7/1 to score first and 9/4 anytime. The Greek has netted twice in three appearances in this year’s campaign.
Elfsborg hammered Latvian side Daugava Daugavpils 7-1 the last time they played at home, but it does not bode well for the Yellow Ones that they have now conceded in each of their last four home games.
Zenit St. Petersburg v FC Nordsjaelland – Zenit St. Petersburg -2.0 Goals 13/8
Many will be familiar with FC Nordsjaelland after facing Chelsea in the Champions League last year – losing 4-0 at home and 6-1 in London.
The Danish side looked out of their depth in this competition last year and conceded 12 goals over the course of their three away games in Europe.
While Zenit started their season with a disappointing 1-1 against Kuban Krasnodar, they carry a 1-0 lead into this leg and should dispatch of Nordsjaelland at home, where they have only lost one of their last 11 Champions League matches.
Metalist Kharkiv v PAOK Salonika – Metalist Kharkiv -1.0 Goals 11/8
Money-rich Metalist Kharkiv defeated PAOK 2-0 in Greece and it is difficult to see anything other than a win for the Ukrainian side at home.
Metalist, who are undefeated in their last six matches, face a PAOK side that have failed to make the Champions League proper in their last two attempts.
It is difficult to look beyond the Ukrainians, who boast an abundance of Brazilians including full international Diego Souza, who will be desperate to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in their history.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.