Celtic wade into the Champions League qualifying pool at the third-round stage, with little-known FK Qarabag of Azerbaijan pencilled in to play them.
They make their maiden voyage to Glasgow where a price of 11/2 seriously doubts their prospects of victory.
Given the discrepancy in reputations and stature, as well as home advantage, it’s no surprise to see the Bhoys installed as 9/20 favourites, while the draw weighs in at 10/3.
The prospect of a positive result for the visiting party has been almost ruled out by the bookies, but there’s no reason for you, the humble punter, to make the same mistake as the odds-dictating overlords.
A double-chance bet on underestimated Horsemen pays at a beefy 8/5 and there’s ample cause to make this wager.
FK’s European ledger from the previous campaign is not that of elimination fodder.
Billed as an easy six points for Inter, Dnipro and St Etienne in Europa League Group F, Qarabag eventually missed out on qualifying for the knockout stage of the 2014/15 competition by one point.
They drew home and away with the French outfit, shared the spoils with the Nerazzurri and won in Dnipropetrovsk against the would-be finalists.
Celtic mustered just two points more at the same stage.
Their route to the Europa League last-32 involved a 3-1 Celtic Park reverse against Red Bull Salzburg, a side who lost the first-leg of their Champions League third preliminary round date with Qarabag a year ago.
The Bhoys’ previous attempt to qualify for this competition was an unmitigated disaster.
Legia Warsaw routed the Glasgow club 4-1 at this stage 12 months back, then won 2-0 at Murrayfield in the corresponding clash.
Yet, despite losing 6-1 on aggregate, Celtic were awarded a 3-0 second-leg victory by default on account of Legia fielding an ineligible player, which was sufficient to ensure their progression on away goals.
After advancing courtesy of an admin mishap, Ronny Deila’s side were given the manageable task of beating Maribor to book a Champions League group stage spot.
The Slovenians prevailed 2-1 over two legs, affirming their superiority with victory in Scotland.
A combination of these many factors mean Qarabag can’t be discounted here.