Celtic vs AZ Alkmaar
🇪🇺 UEFA Europa League
⏰ Wednesday 18th August, 19:45
Celtic host Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the 1st leg of their Europa League playoff tie at Celtic Park on Wednesday evening. Celtic defeated Czech side Jablonec 7-2 on aggregate in the previous round whereas AZ qualified automatically.
After a difficult start to the season for new manger Ange Postecoglou, Celtic come into this off the back off four consecutive victories. At the weekend, they defeated Hearts 3-2 at home to qualify for the League Cup quarter finals. Celtic are unbeaten in their four home games this season, including both of their European matches against Midtjylland (1-1) and Jablonec (3-0).
AZ kicked of their Eredivisie campaign with a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to RKC Waalwijk. In Europe last season, AZ lost three of their four away matches. Not only have AZ sold two of their best players Myron Boadu (Monaco) and Calvin Stengs (Nice), they are without another striker Jesper Karlsson who is suspended and captain Teun Koopmeiners only started on the bench at the weekend as he also looks set to leave.
Benfica vs PSV
🇪🇺 UEFA Champions League
⏰ Wednesday 18th August, 20:00
Benfica also host a Dutch side in PSV in the 1st leg of their Champions League playoff tie at the Estádio Da Luz on Wednesday evening. Both sides won 4-0 on aggregate in the previous round, defeating Spartak Moscow and Midtjylland respectively.
Benfica have made a perfect start to the season winning all four games, scoring 8 goals. At the weekend, they defeated newly promoted Arouca at the Estádio Da Luz 2-0 to help land my Bet of the Day double. Last season, Benfica scored in 24 of their 25 home games in all competitions. That included scoring in all four Europa League games scoring 11 times.
PSV have also made a perfect start to the season winning all six of their competitive games. PSV kicked off their pursuit of the Eredivisie trophy with a 0-2 away to Heracles despite making many changes. That’s now 17 goals scored already this season with 11 of them coming in their four European games.
Bet of the Day
Celtic have been on a good run of form and will fancy their chances against a weakened AZ side in front of a packed Celtic Park. Celtic are still suspect at the back though and while they could win, I’d like to keep the draw on the side. Both Benfica and PSV have started this season in impressive form and are certainly better going forward, both sides should bet here.