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Celtic travel to Belfast on Friday

Frank Monkhouse | 14 July 2017

Bhoys face Linfield in Champions League

Friday night football is dominated by Celtic’s trip to Linfield in the Champions League qualifying second round. The Scots are expected to waltz through to the next stage, but Linfield will want to, at least, stand up and be counted on their own patch.

You can follow the action live on Premier Sports from 5.00pm, and Coral offer the chance to bank a winning bet, trading on over 160 markets, including match winner, both teams to score and half-time/full-time. Have your say here.

Coral look at Celtic's record in Europe against English teams and offer Champions League Bhoys specials about how they'll do in continental competition this term.

New Bhoy to hit the ground running

Brendan Rodgers boosted his already impressive squad with the signing of Olivier Ntcham, the midfielder joining from Manchester City on a four-year deal. The Frenchman says new teammate Moussa Dembele was behind convincing him to move to Glasgow, and fans will be hoping their most recent arrival can make the same sort of impact.

The 21-year-old spent two seasons on loan at Genoa in the Italian topflight, but is now looking forward to settling in at The Hoops and aiming to fire them towards the Champions League group stages. He’s 17/2 with Coral to hit the ground running and score the first goal of the game on Friday, or 12/5 for a goal any time during play.

Celtic expected to win at a canter

It’ll be a strange atmosphere inside Belfast’s Windsor Park as the Scottish treble winners play in front of no away fans. Celtic rejected their ticket allocation for the match amidst fears for the safety of their support, so it’ll be home fans only inside the ground, officially anyway. Captain Scott Brown says it won’t make too much difference to how the team perform.

There’s no surprise to see Brendan Rodgers and co marked up as hot-favourites to get the win, with Coral giving 1/10 at the time of writing. An away win to nil may just offer neutrals a bit of an interest, but even that is nailed down at 4/7. If you make our boys right and see The Hoops running away with this, -2 on the handicap is worth a second look at 19/20.

Linfield a big price to upset

Linfield, managed by former Rangers and Northern Ireland striker David Healy, were far from convincing in the last round, sneaking past the minnows of La Fiorita 1-0 over two legs. A narrow win at home in the first tie and a 0-0 away was enough to see them set up a money-spinning night vs Celtic, but real improvement is needed.

Linfield have been on the end of one or two heavy defeats in pre-season, and that does very little to inspire a bet on the upset. A home win has been scratched out at 18/1, while the draw doesn’t look too much better, trading 15/2. Both teams to score may be worth an interest, if you’re going to watch the match live, Coral giving 8/5.

Keep our expert football betting previews close this summer