Kick-off: 1945, 20/07/2021
Stadium: Celtic Park
TV: Premier Sports
Celtic kick off their quest for Champions League football with a second qualifying-round tie against three-time Danish champions FC Midtjylland.
Celtic Park will host the first leg on Tuesday in what will be new boss Ange Postecoglou’s first competitive match in charge of the Hoops.
This clash has come much earlier in Postecoglou’s reign than he would have liked, though, and the Hoops do not look ready, with an away win looking good value at 12/5 as our opening Celtic vs Midtjylland prediction.
A Look At Celtic’s Betting Odds
Celtic begin a new era under former Australia head coach Postecoglou, who left J-League side Yokohama F. Marinos to replace Neil Lennon at the Parkhead helm.
The 55-year-old is known for his attacking brand of football with a high press, which will be familiar to Celtic fans after a sustained period of success under Brendan Rodgers before he joined Leicester in February 2019.
A 1-0 defeat in a friendly against Preston on Saturday highlighted the problems facing the new manager, with the slow process of signing players in a pandemic not making his job any easier.
Postecoglou fielded three summer signings against Preston – former Sheffield Wednesday pair Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide both started while Israeli winger Liel Abada came on for the last half hour.
But those three signings have an average age of 20 and Celtic are crying out for more experience, especially in defence with Christopher Jullien still working his way back from a knee injury and Kristoffer Ajer seemingly on his way out.
A back four of Tony Ralston, Greg Taylor, Stephen Welsh and Urhoghide did not inspire confidence and Preston always looked the likelier team to make the breakthrough.
David Turnbull and Callum McGregor impressed in midfield but Celtic had two teenagers out wide in Owen Moffat and Adam Montgomery and a total of eight players under 20 in their squad.
With Leigh Griffiths absent amid a club probe into his social media activity and new signing Kyogo Furuhashi potentially two weeks away from arriving, Celtic are also short up front.
Having also failed to score in a 0-0 draw with Bristol City on Wednesday, this looks set to be a low-scoring match and 19/20 for at least one team not to score appeals in the Celtic vs Midtjylland odds.
A Look At FC Midtjylland’s Betting Odds
Midtjylland were runners-up in Denmark last season, finishing just a point behind Brondby, and made it to the group stage of the Champions League.
Their limitations were exposed as they then lost their first four matches but draws with Atalanta and Liverpool at least gave them something to cheer.
Their new domestic season has already started so Midtjylland may also have an edge in terms of fitness, although Friday’s 2-1 defeat at home to OB Odense was a disappointing start after they conceded a stoppage-time winner.
We still think the value is with the visitors, though, and a 1-0 away win at 19/2 is our final Celtic vs Midtjylland prediction.
Last league result:
Hibernian 0-0 CELTIC
FC MIDTJYLLAND 1-2 OB Odense – Pione Sisto
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