It’s been a long time since Celtic was relevant in any international competition. Manager Ange Postecoglou is determined to change that, and he has a roster talented enough to do it. After all, we’re talking about the top scoring team in the Scottish Premiership.
They’ll face an inspired team, Bayer Leverkusen. Right now, Leverkusen sits in the Bundesliga second place, only two points behind Bayern Munich. Comparisons with the team that reached the UEFA Champions League Final in the 2001-02 season already started.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and soccer odds for Celtic vs Bayer Leverkusen. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider!
Game: Celtic vs Bayer Leverkusen
Location: Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland
Time: Thursday, Sept. 30, 3 p.m. ET
TV: beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV
UEFA Europa League Betting Lines
|Celtic||+½ -120||+275||3 +105o||1½ +165o/-210u|
|Bayer Leverkusen||-½ -110||-110||3 -135u||1½ -130o/Evu|
Head to Head
This will be their first meeting. Regarding Celtic, they own a 4-5-15 record against German teams, they’ve scored 17 goals and allowed 33. On the other hand, Bayer Leverkusen owns a 2-1-1 record against Scottish teams, they’ve scored six goals and allowed four.
Why bet on Celtic?
Celtic has had a rocky start to the season; however, they’re averaging 2.5 goals per game. That number should be enough for you to consider including them in your soccer picks. Believe me, it’s getting harder to find teams heavily committed to offense.
They currently sit in the Scottish Premiership sixth place with 10 points thanks to a 3-1-3 record. They’ve allowed only five goals, losing all three matches by only one goal. Regarding the UEL, they fought bravely in Spain against Real Betis in Matchday 1 but finished losing 4-3. Again, plenty of goals.
“We want to play these games and really test ourselves. They’re a quality opponent and we’ll go out there with the same intention as we did against Betis away, and that’s to go at them and try to be aggressive and attack,” said Postecoglou in the press conference.
Celtic doesn’t depend on any player to score, they’re a vivid example of teamwork. David Turnbull, Kyogo Furuhashi, and Liel Abada have scored three goals. Curiously enough, none of them scored against Betis.
Despite having scored so many goals, the total went over three goals in only five of their last 14 games in all competitions. They remain unbeaten at home with a 7-1-0 record. The atmosphere at Celtic Park is deafening, which increases their motivation considerably.
Furuhashi is questionable due to injury, but the rest of the team is ready to go. Their expected lineup is Joe Hart; Tony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt, Josip Juranovic; David Turnbull, Tom Rogic, Ismaila Soro; Liel Abada, Joao Filipe, Albian Ajeti.
Why Bet on Bayer Leverkusen?
First of all, the Bundesliga is way better than the Scottish Premiership. Bayer Leverkusen is used to playing at a higher level. Second of all, they own 5-1-1 record in all competitions, they’ve scored 18 goals and allowed eight. Their only loss was against Borussia Dortmund.
Most recently, they beat Mainz 05 1-0 thanks to a goal from Florian Wirtz. He’s one of the team’s top scorers with five goals in all competitions. He’s followed by Patrik Schick with four. No matter what scores and odds may say, if they play Leverkusen will always have a chance.
Regarding the UEL, they debuted in the Group Stage with a 2-1 victory over Ferencvaros. They showed some resilience after coming back from a 1-0 deficit. The visiting side scored eight minutes into the game, putting a lot of pressure on them.
They remain unbeaten when playing on the road with a 2-1-0 record. They also are 2-1 against the spread and over/under when playing away from home. Playing 4-5-1 allows them to control the ball and be very dangerous on the counterattack.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Edmond Tapsoba, Exequiel Palacios, and Julian Baumgartlinger are out due to injury. Only Palacios was playing as a starter, but they’ll figure it out. Their expected lineup is Lukas Hradecky; Jeremie Frimpong, Odilon Kossounou, Jonathan Tah, Mitchel Bakker; Kerem Demirbay, Charles Aranguiz, Moussa Diaby, Florian Wirtz, Karim Bellarabi; Patrik Schick.
Final Analysis and Predictions
Overall, Bayer Leverkusen is the better team, but Celtic becomes stronger when playing at home. I expect a fierce, back-and-forth battle. Both are disciplined, especially when it comes to attack. The home side can’t afford to lose, while the visitors could settle for a draw.
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