Once again Celtic is in the spotlights and being drawn against Helsingborg allows them to hope for another champions league berth. The Scottish side has an impeccable record at Celtic Park but struggles heavily on the road where they rarely collect points regardless of whom they are facing. Not even the friendly games campaign turned out too well, and out of eight games the former Scottish champions won just one.
Match: Helsingborg vs Celtic
Odds: bet365 2.70
The doubleheader with Helsingborg will be decided in favor of the team that will capitalize on the home field advantage, because the Swedish side is not very successful away from home either. While the hosts declared that even a scoreless draw would be regarded as a positive results, Helsingborg can’t afford to win their champions league ticket in the inferno of Celtic Park. They are hard pressed to score at least once in front of their fans and hope that they are defensive line can prevent the opponents from scoring.
Two sides plagued by injuries
Neither team won the last round in the domestic championship, something that is particularly surprising for Celtic who is known to dominate Premier League. Helsingborg fell away from home to Elfsborg by two goals to one, but these results indicate the fact that both teams take the doubleheader seriously. It is worth mentioning the fact that the Swedish side thrashed Kalmar at home in the previous round and scored no less than seven goals.
Both squads are plagued by injuries, and Åge Hareide will have to do without Erik Wahlstedt, Erlend Hanstveit, Loret Sadiku and Erik Edman. None of these players will feature tonight at Olympia Stadium and there are serious doubts whether Pär Hansson will shake off his tonsillitis and start in the net. On the other hand, the visitors are in even worse shape, and the coach struggles to find suitable replacements for no less than 10 injured players. There are so many gaps to fill that Celtic can’t afford any false steps and it appears like Hooper and Samaras will be stranded in the offense for most of the time.
Bet365 obviously favors the visitors, but given the long least of absentees and the dismal track record in games played away from home, the bookmaker offers even odds. There is huge value in the 2.70 odds given for a home victory, because despite what the manager declared the day before the game, the Swedish side needs to win the first leg. Unless they travel to Scotland with a slim lead, their chances of qualifying for Champions League groups will turn from bad to worse.