Celtic in striking and defensive dearth for Dinamo Zagreb group game
Celtic have always beaten Dinamo Zagreb at home in two previous meetings, and that history is enough for Coral to make the Bhoys 23/20 favourites as they host the Croatian champions in Europa League group stage action.
This short price fails to take into account injuries at both ends of the pitch for Ronny Deila’s side, however, not to mention that Sweden striker John Guidetti is ineligible. A draw is rated the same as an away victory for Zagreb at 12/5 apiece.
Glasgow giants Celtic have failed to win three of their last six home outings across all competitions, so those prices look tempting, and even more so when you consider who could and will miss out. Deila is definitely without Adam Matthews and Mikael Lustig, meaning Nigeria international Efe Ambrose must play right back.
Charlie Mulgrew’s versatility will be a miss too, but Belgian centre back Jason Denayer should return. Winger James Forrest is definitely out, while there are doubts about the fitness of Kris Commons and Stefan Scepovic. Deila is confident this forward-thinking pair will make it, though, and they are 6/4 and 2/1 respectively to get goals anytime here.
Anthony Stokes and Leigh Griffiths can certainly deputise in attack, though it seems the latter is not fancied by the Celtic coach. Back former Hibernian and Wolves frontman Griffiths to make Bhoys boss Deila reassess him by scoring here at 9/4.
Wakaso Mubarak should continue on the flank in Forrest’s absence, and the Ghana winger is an 11/1 chance to repeat his feat of netting the opener as he did against Red Bull Salzburg last time out in the Europa League. He is shorter and safer at 7/2 anytime, though.
Croatia cap Duje Cop is Zagreb’s main man, but is on a four-game drought in all competitions. He is a 13/2 chance to score first. Manchester United loanee Angelo Henriquez is more tempting at 13/5 in the anytime market, as he came off the bench to net in Dinamo’s first group game.
Algeria World Cup forward El Arbi Hillel Soudani hit a hat-trick as Zagreb crushed Romanian outfit Astra, but is a remote 40/1 possibility to take another Europa League match ball home with him. Odds of 12/5 in the anytime market are much more realistic.
History suggests a Celtic win to nil at 27/10, but a Bhoys victory with both teams scoring looks more like it here at 7/2. Back over 3.5 goals as the match total with odds of 5/2, given Deila’s defensive dearth and doubts, plus the dangerous attacking options open to Dinamo.