Rennes

Rennes vs Celtic

, KO: 17:55 Sep 19, 2019, Roazhon Park
Celtic

CELTIC have responded superbly to their Champions League elimination by Cluj, winning five games in a row to seal a Europa League slot and move clear at the top of the Premiership.

That run included two huge wins on the road in Stockholm and at Ibrox but the Hoops will need to turn in an even better display to take something from their Europa League opener in Rennes.

Celtic will also head to Rome for a clash with Lazio later in Group E but this could be their toughest assignment and it would be a huge feather in their cap if they emerged with a victory.

Rennes impressed on their march to the quarter-finals last season, losing narrowly to Arsenal after a victory in France, and stunned PSG by beating them in the French Cup Final.

That sealed a return to Europe after a disappointing 10th-placed finish in Ligue 1 and Julien Stephan's side repeated the trick with a 2-1 victory over the Paris giants early in this campaign.

That was one of three successive wins that saw Rennes set the early pace in Ligue 1 but they have stumbled a bit since then, losing 2-1 to Nice then drawing 0-0 at Brest last weekend.

Star striker M'Baye Niang missed that game with injury and it would be a huge blow if he was also ruled out of the clash with Celtic. Rennes are also missing the creativity of Hatem Ben Arfa who remains without a club after leaving when his contract expired in the summer.

But they spent big to fill the void, splashing out £18million on Sporting Lisbon winger Raphinha. The Brazilian has netted twice since his move to France and could get some joy up against Hoops left-back Boli Bolingoli,

There has been talk about Bolingoli coming on to a game after improved performances against Rangers and Hamilton in his last two outings. But with Steven Gerrard choosing to start without wingers in the Old Firm game and Hamilton defending deep, the Belgian wasn't really tested by someone running at him.

It will be a different story if he goes up against Raphinha and Bolingoli has been responsible for the last two goals conceded by Celtic on the road in Europe, against Cluj then AIK.

Raphinha is 3/1 with Paddy Power for anytime scorer which looks excellent value and it could also pay to back Bolingoli to be carded. I haven't seen any bookies offer odds on cards yet but I will keep an eye on the markets.

The Hoops have netted in every game this season so I'm surprised to see both teams to score as good as evens with William Hill, which is an excellent bet.

Doubling that with a Rennes win takes the odds to 4/1 with Bet365 and that looks a good option. Celtic have been pretty impressive on the road in Europe this season but they haven't met a team as dangerous as Rennes yet and I'm still not sure how solid they are at the back.

Lennon could go with the same side that beat Hamilton at the weekend, although he might bring back Mikey Johnston now the winger has recovered from injury. The only notable absentee is defender Jozo Simunovic who faces a spell on the sidelines as he prepares for a knee operation.

Olivier Ntcham could also be brought in to beef up the midfield and the Frenchman will desperate to impress back on home soil. If Ntcham starts in Celtic's engine room then he could be a good bet in the anytime scorer market at 8/1 with Paddy Power.

Countryman Odsonne Edouard is a nailed-on starter up front and will be keen to keep up the form that saw him dazzle for the French Under-21 side. The striker is 27/10 with Unibet to score at anytime.

When Celtic were last on the road in Europe, my tip of both teams to score, over 2.5 goals and either team to win came up as the Hoops won 4-1. The same wager is 2/1 here and I've a feeling it could pay off again.

This match between Rennes and Celtic will be played on Sep 19, 2019 and kick off at 17:55

Rennes vs Celtic Betting Tips & Predictions
Raphinha anytime scorer
3/1
PaddyPower
Both teams to score
Evens
William Hill
Both teams to score, over 2.5 goals and either team to win
2/1
Ladbrokes

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