I’ve never really been entirely sure what a squib is, but Juventus certainly poured plenty of water all over Celtic’s on Tuesday night.
After putting my neck on the line to back Neil Lennon’s men to triumph, the players and fans weren’t the only ones left licking their wounds by Antonio Conte’s side’s smash-and-grab raid in Glasgow’s East End.
There’s no doubt that 3-0 flattered the Italians, but it still demonstrated the clear gulf in class between the SPL champions and Europe’s elite.
While Celtic squandered chances and failed to utilise their spells of possession, the Bianconeri were ruthless and clinical, picking off the exposed home defence on the counter attack and building an unassailable lead going into the second leg in Turin in a fortnight.
As the goals flew in at Parkhead, the only thing likely to puncture the deafening silence that engulfed the stadium was the noise of the Celtic players coming crashing back down to earth with the loudest bump that it’s possible for a metaphor to make.
And you get the impression that those bumps will continue on Saturday when the cold reality of SPL football returns.
Celtic legend Jackie McNamara played in the squad that beat Juventus in 2001 but now he brings his Dundee United side back to his old stomping ground looking to do some stomping of a different kind by kicking his former club while they are down.
McNamara has won both of his games in charge since leaving Partick Thistle to replace Peter Houston at the end of last month, beating Rangers and Hearts and seeing his side score three goals in each game.
But even with the opposition still reeling from their heartbreaking defeat, this match will present a far stiffer challenge for the rookie gaffer.
Celtic beat Dundee United 4-0 in a rearranged SPL game at Celtic Park just 25 days ago to continue an unbeaten home run against the Tangerines that stretches back to 1993.
United, however, will take heart from the fact that they have held the Hoops to a draw in Glasgow on seven occasions in the SPL era and with talismanic striker Johnny Russell experiencing a new lease of life under his new boss (scoring three goals in two games), they will believe that they can pile more misery on Neil Lennon’s beleaguered troops.
A draw is on offer at 15/4 and new customers to bwin who sign up online and use their free £20 bet to back this outcome stand to win £95 if successful.
Celtic are 3/10 to bounce back to winning ways, while the visitors are as long as 29/4 to pick up their first away win at Parkhead in 20 years.
But having lost out by backing the Hoops in midweek, I am hoping that Dundee United can refill my coffers by earning a point.