Mighty McGregor To KO MariborStats
Celtic v Maribor
Celtic were given a second chance in the Champions League and are looking to take full advantage this midweek…
A much-changed Celtic XI were downed 1-0 at Inverness Caledonia Thistle at the weekend as Ronny Deila’s poor start to life as the Parkhead boss was compounded. The Norwegian has already overseen three defeats including a humiliation at the hands of Legia Warsaw in the previous Champions League round.
Striker Jo Inger Berget got off the mark with a brace against Dundee United in a 6-1 win 10 days ago, while Anthony Stokes also has a couple of league goals to his name for the season so far. Virgil van Dijk and Teemu Pukki have each scored twice in the Champions League qualifiers to date, while
Callum McGregor’s opener in the first leg was his third of the campaign.
Maribor, meanwhile, picked up a morale boosting 3-0 home win at the weekend, having lost 3-1 at NK Celje on the weekend before the first leg clash with Celtic. Including Champions League qualifiers the Slovenians have won seven and lost just one of their 10 competitive fixtures this season.
Celtic made 10 changes to their starting XI for the weekend defeat to Caley Thistle, with this Tuesday night’s game clearly, and understandably so, taking priority over the Scottish Premiership at this stage. James Forrest and Adam Matthews both missed the first leg due to injury and neither played at the weekend; late fitness tests are expected.
Callum McGregor gave Celtic an early lead in last Wednesday’s first leg, but the hosts were quick to draw level through a Damjan Bohar equaliser just eight minutes later. Both sides created plenty of further chances but neither could capitalise meaning Celtic, with their away goal, are in the driving seat.
Although Celtic offered the more considered and mature performance of the two teams in the first leg, there was little there to encourage me to back them at odds as short as 8/15 to win the second leg. If you’re looking for a value bet on the Match Odds market then I’d suggest a punt on the draw at 3/1. NK Maribor are an 11/2 chance.