THE big draw’s on Thursday and five sides are aiming to make the group stage of the Champions League tonight.
None of the ties look in the balance although you can’t discount big guns Villarreal and Porto who face tough away tasks.
Villarreal go to Monaco 2-1 down and Porto head to Roma after being held 1-1 at home. Celtic are almost there after a 5-2 home win against Hapoel Beer Sheva as are Legia Warsaw who won 2-0 away to Dundalk. Plzen start at home to Ludogerets 2-0 down and I don’t fancy their chances.
So let’s start with Celtic. Bookies have already placed them in the group stage – and it’s impossible to argue about it.
Those prices show why Celtic are just about there and to score they are no bigger than 2-7 with William Hill.
Brendan Rodgers seems to have adopted the “if you score two we’ll score three policy” after realising his side are allergic to clean sheets.
Leigh Griffiths hit a double in the first leg and bagged the opener against St Johnstone. He is 4-1 at William Hill to break the deadlock again and 23-20 at William Hill to score. Scott Sinclair is worth a look in this market at 21-10.
Last week Legia Warsaw were my Super Single to beat Dundalk although their 2-0 win in Dublin wasn’t straightforward. Stephen Kenny must know his side are out but will be consoled by a fat cheque and a place in the Europa League group stages.
The Poles should at least match that 2-0 scoreline and are big enough at 4-11 with Ladbrokes to go on accumulators. Their dangerman is Nemanja Nikolic and I tipped him to score first at the Aviva. He is 15-4 at bet365 to repeat the feat.
Bulgarian champions Ludogerets can hit an away goal at Plzen to kill that tie. If they score – and they are 1-2 at Coral and Ladbrokes to do so – the Czechs would need four and that looks beyond them.
Bets to Consider
Hapoel v Celtic over 2.5 goals
Griffiths to score
Legia Warsaw -1
Nikolic to score first
Ludogerets to score
Monaco not to lose