July 30: Celtic v Barcelona Betting Preview


HERE’S a question: Would Celtic rather take the scalp of star-studded Barcelona or see off Kazaks Astana?

It’s an easy one to answer – and anyway the Scottish champions have beaten Barca more than once before.

The sides meet in the International Champions Cup in Dublin and for Celtic it’s a big distraction from the real deal of the Champions League.

Last week Celtic did well to hold English champs Leicester ahead of their marathon trip to Astana and having secured a 1-1 draw all eyes must be on the return.

Apart from a fat cheque there is little to be gained from facing Barca even if Lionel Messi reckons it will be perfect preparation for Celtic’s tie on Wednesday.

Messi was fulsome in praise of the Celtic Park atmosphere when he last played there and wants to face them again in the Champions League – but what striker wouldn’t.

Barca won’t be at full strength but Messi, Luis Suarez, Arda Turan and Javier Mascherano will be involved as will new signings Lucas Digne and Samuel Umtiti. Messi and Suarez are two who cut their holidays short to join up at Barca’s training base in the Midlands and that’s a sign of their commitment.

Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers would do well to wrap all his defenders in cotton wool and Kolo Toure has been left at home as he builds up match fitness ahead of a possible run-out against the Kazaks.

Barca are short-priced favourites but 1-3 at Ladbrokes will tempt big hitters and last time they met in 2013 they ran out 6-1 winners as Neymar ran riot. Celtic,who are 11-1 at Paddy Power, are relieved to see the Brazilian is absent on Olympics duty.

Argentine ace Messi scored when Barca lost 2-1 at Parkhead in 2012 and is 7-10 with Ladbrokes to net again and 14-5 at Ladbrokes to score first.

Suarez, who had a sparkling end to the season with 14 goals in his last five outings, is 3-1 at Paddy Power to break the deadlock and 8-13 at Ladbrokes to net.

It’s worth remembering this is more a friendly than a cup clash and Barca’s first warm-up game but they are capable of running out convincing winners and I”m on them minus one at 5-6 with Ladbrokes.

If you want a Celtic scorer check line-up before betting but Leigh Griffiths is the obvious choice at 8-1.

Celtic will be backed by their huge Dublin fanbase and could net. To do so they are 4-5 at betfair.

Recommended Bet – check starting line-ups and if Messi and Suarez start take them both to score and Barca -1.

Kick-off – 6.30pm. Dublin.

Update: Messi and Suarez start as does Efe Ambrose in Celtic defence.

2pts Barcelona –

(10-11, Paddy Power)

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  1. Profile photo of Alves
    Alves 2 years ago

    Replace Celtic wi Iffy in paragraph 5 😂

    Think we’ll score but it’s not gonna be a 2nd team Rodgers puts out, Toure Griffiths Dembele Brown oconnell etc will play because need to get to get fitness up. Btts/barca would be my bet but not touching it, celtic 5/6 to score looks a good bet tae and if Suarez starts skybet give evens barca/Suarez anytime

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 2 years ago

      Team news is key but Celtic have to be careful not to get anyone injured and Ambrose may well start.
      But Barca won’t be firing on all cylinders on their first run-out either.

    • Profile photo of Scott Allot
      Scott Allot 2 years ago

      Alves, Toure hasn’t travelled to Dublin so won’t play. Would still expect him to get a game ahead of Iffy on Wendesday though

      • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
        Mr Fixit 2 years ago

        Cheers Scott. Will update.

        • Profile photo of Alves
          Alves 2 years ago

          Hopefully Iffy plays and fecks his hamstring then haha, Toure will play wi O’Connell I think and hope but that could be a disaster tae, not knowing how he’ll fare will be nervy but as long we score 6 we should be alright 😂

  2. Profile photo of jazzerbhoy
    jazzerbhoy 2 years ago

    I’m sure Brendan won’t risk all that he has left defensive wise for Wednesday.
    I would expect lots of changes today.
    He may start with his strongest 11 to give them another 45 minutes, and I would expect sweeping changes in the second half.
    I expect Barca to win but it is a friendly and who knows.
    Both teams to score,and maybe a 3-2 score line.

  3. Profile photo of alva glen
    alva glen 2 years ago

    The only player Celtic cant afford to lose is Griffiths for Weds game and as the rest are average cant see why Celtic would change too much.Barca are one of the best teams in the world and if Ambrose,Messi and Jaws are playing I will be lumping on them.

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 2 years ago

      Celtic can’t afford to lose Griffiths as you say. Can they afford to lose Lustig, Roberts, Tierney, McGregor, Dembele, Gordon etc.
      He has to protect his first-choice players because if they are average what’s below them is less than average.

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