THERE'S a small matter of a certain Champions League Qualifier that I just can't let lie tomorrow…
CELTIC VS. KR (7.45pm)
I'll potentially get pelters from a few but don't underestimate KR tomorrow – sure they may not win but they will give a good account of themselves!
No question as to the size difference between the sides but the quality of Icelandic domestic football has imroved year on year for the last decade unlike any other country.
The investment in infrastructure, facilities and Youth development has paid enormous dividends on the national stage although many of the better players do invariably get drawn into the various Scandinavian/European leagues.
I'd be more confident 12-18 months ago when KR were looking in fine fettle but I'm still willing to take a risk at prices that may offer some value for a side that have had a taste of European action before now.
For those looking to compare the size and history between the two, don't bother…there really is no comparison.
But, what is interesting to map out is the co-efficient between the sides themselves and moreso those sides that both teams have met in recent times!
Celtic have a European ranking of 49 and whilst KR may seem a million miles behind at 648, Celtic's recent draw against Kilmarnock ended 1-1…Killie's own standing is 489 – much closer to the Reykjavik outfits ranking.
Hamilton Accies notched a goal in Celtic's previous game and they themselves sit only 7 places higher at 482 – of course none of this is an exact science but it does demonstrate Celtic's vulnerability against teams whose quality is not to dissimilar to teams who are causing them some difficulty on the domestic front.
In the same vein and perhaps even more tellingly, KR have scored against Molde, Macaabi and Grasshoppers in recent years; the respective European rankings of those sides being 105, 102 and 446…all 3 of which are close to or significantly ‘stronger' than sides who have netted against The Hoops during recent games.
As I said earlier, KR haven't seemed quite as strong at the tail end of the last campaign nor the start of this one but underestimate them at your peril.
REYKJAVIK +3 H/CAP
(7/5, betway) NAP ⭐⭐⭐
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
(7/4, paddypower) NB ⭐⭐