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Celtic v Juventus: Bhoys simply must win at Parkhead

| 12.02.2013

Celtic are yet to lose a home tie in the Champions League this term and will be confident of getting the win they need if they are to knock mighty Juventus out in the last-16.

Even Barcelona could not withstand the electric atmosphere inside Parkhead and, despite the enormous gulf in class between the Italian and Scottish champions, there won’t be too many throwing money at the Old Lady’s 4/5 to win the match.

The Bhoys are available to back as long as 10/3 and, even though a far larger price would have been up for grabs prior to their humbling of the Catalan maestros, this is a tempting bet. The same can be said of the draw at 13/5.

The reality of things, however, mean a sharing of the spoils isn’t good enough for the Glasgow club, whose away form in this competition is an inversion of their excellent efforts on home soil.

An away win at Spartak Moscow came as a surprise, but against the more adept opposition of Barca and Benfica Neil Lennon’s men were beaten. Playing Celtic away represents an entirely different kettle of fish to playing them at home so if the Scots can’t win in the opening leg their already lofty price of 7/2 to qualify for the quarters will duly sky-rocket.

If the hosts’ group-stage games taught us anything it’s that this clash is likely to be settled by a solitary goal; 2-1 to the home team to be more exact.

In reaching this stage, their previous five were decided by a single strike and all of the latter four finished 2-1. This heaps value on Celtic’s 11/2 to win the game by one and, in truth, it’s tough to imagine them slamming three or four past such prestigious adversaries making this the most realistic winning margin. Avoiding the concession of an away goal will be massive too, but they’d still be pleased with a 2-1 win and this can be backed at 14/1.

Whatever the score, should Gary Hooper provide the first goal, Ladbrokes will refund all losing first goalscorer punts as free bets. The sought-after striker is available at 7/1 to break the deadlock, though backing Victor Wanyama to repeat his Barcelona feat and notch the opener is on offer at double the price; it’s worth a go with the safety net in place.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton