Celtic vs Zenit
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Date: 15 February 2018
Kick-off: 21:05 CET
Easily one of the “biggest” games of the day, between two teams with Champions League quality. Celtic were extremely unlucky to get both Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in their group. They lost all fours games, as expected, they lost at home to Anderlecht as well (that was a let-down), but still finished third having triumphed in Brussels earlier in the group stage, 3-0. Last weekend they beat Partick Thistle 3-2 in an FA Cup match, qualifying for the quarterfinals. Just before that, they had lost to Kilmarnock in the championship, their second defeat this season. Last year they won the title undefeated, but that’s obviously not something any team in any league can do in back-to-back seasons. All in all, Celtic have looked less… scary this season in Scotland, but are still on their way to lifting every available trophy.
Five wins and a draw (earned at Rosenborg thanks to an added-time penalty) was Zenit’s record in the group stage, almost perfect. The St Petersburg side are second in the Russia Premier League, eight points behind leaders Lokomotiv Moscow. Important, potentially, detail; Zenit haven’t played an official game since December 11, when they drew 0-0 at Akhmat Grozny. They have obviously played several friendly games, and truth is they looked great in most of those, scoring three, four, even five goals, past Maribor, Slavia Prague, FC Copenhagen, even Guangzhou Evergrande. As I keep writing since the start of the Europa League season, Zenit’s roster was/is good enough not just to see them through to the last 32 (which has already happened), but, I’m making a guess here, the quarterfinals.
Previous five matches:
Celtic vs Partick Thistle 3-2
Kilmarnock vs Celtic 1-0
Celtic vs Hearts 3-1
Celtic vs Hibernian 1-0
Partick Thistle vs Celtic 1-2
Zenit vs Maribor 3-1
Zenit vs Red Star Belgrade 1-0
Zenit vs Slovan Bratislava 0-0
Zenit vs Guangzhou Evergrande 4-1
Zenit vs Slavia Praha 5-1
Celtic’s next game is on Sunday, again at home, versus St. Johnstone (Scotland championship). Zenit’s next game is the return leg against Celtic, next Thursday.
Celtic vs Zenit: Head to head Stats
Celtic and Zenit have never played against each other before.
Celtic vs Zenit: Prediction
I will be surprised if Zenit lose. I definitely expect them to score. Generally I expect goals, from both sides.
Celtic vs Zenit: Betting Tips
Zenit’s double chance pays just 1.48, low, but I would add it in a bigger bet as a decent add-on. Their win in “draw no bet” is at 1.83 betting odds. “Both teams to score” pays 1.66, but I expect more than that, I expect “over 2.5 goals” to come good at 1.85. My riskiest tip is “Zenit and over 2.5 combined goals”, at 4.00 betting odds, which suits my 1-2 hunch.
More UEFA Europa League betting tips and match previews:
- Red Star Belgrade vs CSKA Moscow
- Astana vs Sporting Lisbon
- Borussia Dortmund vs Atalanta
- Nice vs Lokomotiv Moscow
- Spartak Moscow vs Athletic Bilbao
- Ludogorets vs AC Milan
- Real Sociedad vs Salzburg
- Ostersunds vs Arsenal
- Marseille vs Braga
- FC Copenhagen vs Atletico Madrid
- AEK Athens vs Dynamo Kyiv
- Napoli vs RB Leipzig
- Lyon vs Villarreal
- Partizan Belgrade vs Viktoria Plzen
- FCSB vs Lazio