Riga

Riga vs Celtic

, KO: 18:00 Sep 24, 2020, Skonta Stadium
Celtic

AFTER a calamitous Champions League qualifying exit to Ferencvaros, Celtic look to make the most of their consolation prize as they begin their Europa League bid in Latvia.

Defeat is unthinkable for Neil Lennon's side, who have played in the Europa group stage in the past two seasons after faltering in the premier competition.

Celtic recovered from their Ferencvaros nightmare by reeling off four straight Scottish Premiership wins, but the last two performances especially haven't been entirely convincing, edging out struggling sides St Mirren and Livingston by a goal each time.

Even with the arrival of Republic of Ireland centre-back Shane Duffy, the defence has shown real signs of vulnerability, although at the other end of the pitch Lennon's team can outscore more than most.

They travel to Latvia's capital for a one-legged tie against a Riga side lording it over rivals with a four-point lead at the top of the table halfway through the domestic campaign. The hosts have won 17 of their 19 league fixtures, while keeping a clean sheet in five of the last seven.

Riga, like Celtic, have also dropped out of the Champions League, with the Eastern European outfit having lost 2-0 away to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

They then started Europa League qualifying last week with a 1-0 win over Tre Fiori of San Marino – a result unlikely to strike fear into Celtic hearts.

How do the bookies view it?

Celtic are short favourites – 1-4 at Boylesports and Unibet is the best price around – while the draw is 11-2 at bet365 and Riga are 11-1 at William Hill.

Betting angles

There is a clear gulf in class between the sides, but Celtic can't afford any complacency if they're to avoid flirting with a humiliating exit.

Riga's 1-0 home win in qualifying a year ago – although they lost 4-2 on aggregate – over a Copenhagen side who went on to beat Celtic in the last 32 should serve as a warning to take nothing for granted.

Expect a strong start from the Scottish champions as they look to assert themselves, with Celtic to be leading at half-time and full-time worth exploring at 4-5 with Betfred.

New loan signing Duffy has made an instant impact, and not just in defence. The big centre-back has netted in two of his three appearances for the Hoops and his aerial prowess makes him a huge danger at set-pieces. Back another Duffy goal at 4-1 with William Hill.

This match between Riga and Celtic will be played on Sep 24, 2020 and kick off at 18:00. Check below for our tipsters best Riga vs Celtic prediction.

Riga vs Celtic Betting Tips & Predictions
Celtic HT/FT
4-5
Boylesports
Duffy to score anytime
4-1
William Hill
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