Celtic travel to Camp Nou on Tuesday night, more in hope than expectation, to take on that little kid from Argentina and his mates. At least they won’t have to pay for the stadium tour.
Barcelona are a best price (and I use the term loosely...) of 1/12 with Stan James, whereas Celtic are available at a fairly chunky 45/1 with Bet Victor (everyone else is offering 25’s, but BetVictor’s money is probably safe...) the draw is available at 11/1 with Totesport.
Did you know: Celtic’s last three matches away against Barcelona have finished 1-0, 1-1 and 0-0 - not the demolition jobs many expect.
I don’t like Scottish football. It’s rubbish. Properly rubbish as well. Celtic were 1/50 to win the league at the start of the season, and St Johnstone currently sit second in the SPL. St Johnstone currently start with Rowan Vine upfront, who spent the last three years being fat in the QPR reserves. See? Scottish football is so bad, even QPR fans can look down on it. And we’re awful. Alex McLeish is some sort of demigod north of the border, and Kris Boyd is the all time leading goal scorer. Celtic warmed up for this match by putting five past St Mirren over the weekend. Celtic are the biggest draw that the league has to offer, and St Mirren’s ground was only three quarters full. More people watched Swindon draw with Scunthorpe. Celtic, currently sit at the top of the SPL, you’ll be surprised to hear. Celtic have made a surprisingly good start to the Champions League though I’ll give them that, a creditable albeit dour draw against Benfica, and were able to capitalise on a Spartak Moscow implosion to win 3-2.
Don’t worry though regular readers, I’m not a Barcelona fan either. I’m a fully paid up member of #TeamMadrid. I hate the overly pious way that Barcelona fans and pundits look down their noses at any team that doesn’t play the way that Barcelona do, the ridiculous way that they court players by name-dropping them in interviews, and their stupid flat refusal to buy bloody defenders. Barcelona warmed up for this game by proving once again that despite being irresistible at the business end of the pitch, only having two recognised central defenders, both of whom are seldom fit, is not conducive to keeping things tight at the back, winning 5-4 away at Deportivo. Barcelona are currently top of La Liga, but we all know they’re just keeping the position nice and warm for Real...
Barcelona have won every game they have played this season that hasn’t been against Real Madrid. Celtic are not Real Madrid. It’s going to take a defensive rearguard action the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Battle of Thermopylae for Celtic to keep this even remotely respectable. (Did you know number 2: Gerard Butler, King Leonidas in ‘300’ about the Battle of Termopylae is a massive Celtic fan - maybe they should borrow him and his 299 other mates?)
The problem is of course, where do you find value in such a mismatch? I think that the answer might be in goals, and the value is in the relative lack of them. Celtic aren’t very good in Europe, but perversely, they’re not very bad either. They lose more than they win, but they’re never on the receiving end of a hiding. Under 3.5 goals is available at 6/5 with Stan James, and I reckon that might be a clever bet, seeing as Celtic will park their bus, bring along a second bus for additional parking purposes and will then install a machine gun manned trench somewhere along their 18 yard line. This will probably keep the tippy-tappy foreigners at bay for a while, but eventually, Barcelona will probably score (sorry Celtic fans...) a 1-0 Half time score is available at 5/2 with Paddy Power, and we reckon that won’t be far wrong.
Finally, if you’re going to bet on a first goal scorer, whom better to pick than the second best player in the world? Messi’s 2/1 to open the scoring with William Hill. If Ronaldo was playing he’d be evens...
Barcelona vs Celtic Betting Tips
Under 3.5 goals @ 6/5 (Stan James)
HT score 1-0 Barcelona @ 5/2 (Paddy Power)
Messi to score first @ 2/1 (William Hill)
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