Double Agents: Did Celtic or Man City get the best out of these five stars?
Tomorrow night marks the first ever competitive meeting between the current league leaders in England and Scotland, as Celtic and Manchester City face off in a hotly-anticipated Champions League clash.
Despite the lack of prior meetings on the field, there have been regular dealings off it, with a number of players strutting their stuff for both the Hoops and the Citizens. Ladbrokes News investigates which club got the best out of that band of players.
While joining a Premier League-winning outfit is a dream come true for many players, moving to the Etihad turned out to be something of a nightmare for the Bath-born winger. Given a meagre 19 first-team games over the course of three seasons, Sinclair failed to score once for City, and notched up a solitary assist.
But after losing his way, the 27-year-old has been revitalised by Brendan Rodgers in spectacular fashion. Netting in each of his first six Ladbrokes Premiership games, Sinclair smashed Jimmy McGrory’s league goalscoring record, which had stood since the 1930s. Expect him to become a bonafide Hoops hero in no time.
Celtic Rating: 9/10 – Man City Rating: 4/10
The Welshman’s time at Parkhead was a bittersweet one, with the loanee netting a Scottish Cup final winner against Dundee United, but he failed to score in the Hoops’ final two league games of the season, as they eventually ceded the title to Rangers.
However, there’s no doubt the fiery striker made quite an impact in his short time in Glasgow, with nine goals in 15 games during the chunk of the 2004-05 season he spent with the Hoops.
While he wasn’t quite as prolific at the Etihad, Bellamy’s intelligent play and decent goalscoring record made him a good signing for City, netting 15 times in 51 game, with his curler in a 4-2 win over Arsenal the best of the bunch.
Celtic Rating: 7/10 – Man City Rating: 7/10
When Manchester City ended their 44-year-wait for an English league crown in 2012, the talented Ivorian may have become more of a squad player, but during four seasons in the north-west, he played a crucial part in the Citizens’ rise from mid-table outfit to Premier League champions.
Notching up 31 clean sheets in his 82 Premier League games at the Etihad, Celtic fans will hope he can deliver a similar record at Parkhead. So far the Hoops are winning games, and Toure has retained his class on the ball, but he doesn’t quite have the strength and his prime.
Celtic Rating: 7/10 – Man City: 8/10
The early 1990s wasn’t the most successful period in Celtic’s history, but reliable strikers like Creaney did bring some joy to Hoops fans, including a stunning run of 23 goals in 29 games in the 1990-91 season, though the Coatbridge-born hitman struggled to replicate that form in the following years.
A year after heading south of the border to Portsmouth 1994, the floppy-haired striker rocked up at Maine Road, but netted a dismal four goals in three years, a chunk of which was spent loaned out to the likes of Chesterfield and Oldham Athletic. Ouch.
Celtic Rating: 7/10 – Man City: 5/10
Before Manchester City had global stars like Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, their loyal support instead had cult heroes like mercurial Israeli midfielder Berkovic.
He headed to Maine Road on the back of a rollercoaster two seasons at Celtic. Netting eight times in his first 14 games had Hoops fans in dreamland, but fell out of favour – and form – when Martin O’Neill replaced John Barnes as Bhoys’ boss.
The only direct mover between the clubs in this list, he cost City £1.5m back in 2000, and proved worth his weight in gold with a flurry of goals and regular assists, to help Kevin Keegan’s win promotion back to the Premier League. Not bad.
Celtic Rating: 6/10 – Man City: 9/10
Final Score: Celtic 2-2 Manchester City (with one draw)
It’s finished all square here, but will the result be the same at Celtic Park tomorrow night? It’s 17/4 to finish with honours even, while a Hoops victory is priced at 15/2 and it’s 7/2 for Man City to taste victory.
Meanwhile, those tipping Scott Sinclair to continue his incredible goalscoring run can back him to do just that at 15/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing