Scottish champions Celtic’s terrible away record in Europe showed no signs of improving when Neil Lennon’s side went down 2-0 in Kazakhstan against Shakhter Karagandy during qualifying and European giants AC Milan should have no trouble matching that two goal win at the Giuseppi Meazza at odds of 6/5.
The Italian giants were less than impressive at this stage of Europe’s elite competition last season, picking up just five points in their first four games as Manuel Pellegrini’s Malaga dominated group C.
However, a run of just three defeats in 21 matches after their loss to Zenit Saint Petersburg domestically and in the Champions League turned Milan’s season around and they are as short as 1/5 to qualify from this group.
Celtic, who did so well to emerge from a group containing Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow last year, are the rank outsiders to emerge from group H and considering their troubles on the road in Europe that is hardly surprising.
Before the 3-2 win against Spartak in Russia during the last campaign, Celtic had not won an away Champions League/European Cup match outside of qualifying for 26 years and in the last five seasons in Europe they have only won at Spartak, Dinamo Moscow, HJK Helsinki, Helsingborgs and Cliftonville.
A trip to Italy to face a Milan side featuring Kaka, Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli – who has scored 14 goals in 16 Serie A appearances since his January move from Man City – seems unlikely to reverse that trend and Massimiliano Allegri’s side, who have won their last pair of home games in all competitions by at least a two goal margin, are taken to see off Lennon’s Bhoys with some ease.
Balotelli is the favourite at 5/2 to grab the opening goal of the match, but at a bigger price the Diavolo’s most recent first goalscorer Robinho could be the key to breaking the deadlock at 19/4.
If a player scores the opener and goes on to score a brace or a hat-trick in the match bwin are doubling and trebling first goalscorer odds.
The enigmatic Brazilian has managed to score twice in one game on three occasions during his time in Italy, which includes a double against Arsenal in the last-16 of this competition in 2011/12.