I COULD do no wrong last weekend with my tips on the Celtic v Qarabag match but predicting the outcome of Wednesday’s second leg is much tougher.
My first-leg predictions included Celtic to win to nil and Dedryck Boyata to score at 12-1 and I’d love a repeat.
Much has been said about the state of the bumpy Baku pitch and it’s worth bearing in mind.
As I said last week Qarabag are an “unders” team who are neat and tidy back to middle but a little short up front. You could see them winning 1-0 but not 3-1 and that’s the scenario they’d need if Celtic hit the target.
Celtic are likely to go through of they grab a crucial away strike and I reckon they’ll get one.
It’s worth remembering Qarabag drew 0-0 at home to Rudar in the previous round and in a slow burner a nervy scoreless first half is possible at 6-4 with Paddy Power.
Celtic are huge favourites at 1-6 with McBookie to qualify and 31-20 with the Scots firm to win in Azerbaijan. Qarabag are 2-1 with McBookie and William Hill while the draw pays 11-5 with McBookie and bet365.
Nadir Ciftci is yet to open his account for the Hoops so Deila may turn to Leigh Griffiths, 21-10 at Ladbrokes to net, if he is fully fit.
Boyata is one new boy who has made his mark – twice in fact in the Champions League after also scoring against Stjarnan.
Qarabag’s lack of height is known but surely he can’t strike again. He is 12-1 with Betfred to net and 33-1 to break the deadlock.
Maybe it’s the turn of fellow scorer Virgil van Dijk who is shorter at 17-2 with 888sport to net and 20-1 at Paddy Power to bang in the opener.
(6-4, Paddy Power)
Van Dijk to score
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