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Celtic set to join European elite with victory over Helsingborgs

| 28.08.2012

Celtic manager Neil Lennon will hope to ensure his side’s safe passage to the Champions League group stage when they host Helsingborgs.

The Bhoys grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the first leg, and are heavy 8/15 favourites to defeat the Swedish champions again at Celtic Park.

Goals from ex-Derby winger Kris Commons and Greek striker Georgios Samaras inched Scotland’s premier club towards the European financial windfall.

Ensuring their position among the continent’s elite is key for Celtic, who were forced to sell key midfielder Ki-Sung-Yueng to Swansea for £6m.

Victory against Helsingborgs guarantees the SPL champions monetary muscle and allows them to keep pace with Europe’s big-hitters.

With Rangers having dropped to the Scottish third division as a result of their hefty tax bill, Celtic are flying the flag for the nation in the Champions League.

And the Glasgow outfit have looked up to the task so far this campaign, remaining unbeaten during their six games so far.

Celtic are top of the Scottish league with a game in hand, and easily overcame HJK Helsinki 4-1 on aggregate in the Champions League third qualifying round.

With holders Chelsea entering the competition at the group stage thanks to their Munich triumph, the Bhoys are the last British side with a hope of joining them.

Both Motherwell and Shamrock Rovers faltered in the earlier rounds, but Celtic are a much stronger side than either of those sides.

The home side appear good value to win to nil against Helsingborgs at 6/5, while a repeat 2-0 victory at 11/2 looks tempting.

And if you really fancy the chances of Lennon’s team then a bet on the hosts to plunder 4+ goals can be backed at 6/1.

Premier League target Victor Wanyama returns from suspension while Tony Watt’s double against Inverness may earn him a place in the starting line-up.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Jamie Dickenson