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Celtic can seal Europa League progress with win over Salzburg

| 27.11.2014

Three points for Celtic at home against Europa League Group D leaders Red Bull Salzburg shall guarantee their advancement to the knockout phase. Coral make Ronny Deila’s Bhoys 15/8 chances to win on their own patch for the sixth game in succession across all competitions.

Austrian champions Salzburg have a very potent threat up front, and the form of Spanish striker Jonathan Soriano alone is the main reason why they’re rated 7/5 favourites for victory in Glasgow.

Soriano hit a hat-trick in the hostile Croatian cauldron of Dinamo Zagreb’s Maksimir Stadium, and is a 5/1 shot for two goals or more here.

While this Red Bull sponsored franchise can call on its leading marksman, Celtic cannot, as Sweden striker John Guidetti is ineligible. After 10 goals in 11 outings for the Bhoys, his absence from their Europa League squad for the group stage has been a definite miss.

Deila will be encouraged to have skipper Scott Brown back from a ban, however, although the scoring burden has fallen on other midfielders lately.

Like Soriano, Celtic captain Brown struck during the reverse fixture in Salzburg, so is an 8/1 chance to be on target again anytime.

Norway international Stefan Johansen has netted in back-to-back Europa League games, so is understandably half those odds at 4/1 in the same market.

In Guidetti’s absence, Republic of Ireland attacker Anthony Stokes needs to step up, and is a 6/1 shot to score first after doing so against Dundee last time out.

Brazilian forward Alan Carvalho (5/4 in the anytime market) backs up Soriano in the Salzburg attack, and will have to be contained by highly-rated Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.

Central defensive partner Jason Denayer is doubtful with a foot problem, however, and Mikael Lustig remains sidelined. Red Bull are not without injuries of their own, though, plus left back Andreas Ulmer serves a suspension.

Smooth Slovenia international operator Kevin Kampl can also hurt the Bhoys here, and caught the eye in a recent Euro 2016 qualifying defeat at Wembley to England. He’s back on British soil, and 11/4 to score at Celtic Park.

Another score draw could be on the cards. It’s 23/10 for the spoils to be shared, just as they were in Salzburg, and a repeat 2-2 scoreline rewards punters with a tasty 10/1.

Taking a point may be enough for Celtic, who are 80/1 shots to win the Europa League outright, but they would need Zagreb to do no better at Romanian team Astra Giurgiu.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.