Celtic v RB Leipzig Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 8th November 2018

Celtic's Europa League future hangs in the balance ahead of Thursday night's clash with Leipzig. Victory would leave them with a credible chance of making the knockouts while a loss would see them eliminated if Salzburg avoid defeat against Rosenborg in Group B’s other match. It's by all accounts a must win test for the Bhoys who will need to rise to the occasion.

The Scottish Champions were second best when the teams met a fortnight ago but a change in venue could help level the playing field. The crowd at Celtic Park have often acted as a 12th man and Brendan Rodgers will be hoping they can give his men a lift once again. The Bhoys have produced some great European performances on home soil but will this be one of them?

Top Tips

Draw @ 13/5

Both teams to score @ 4/6

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Celtic News: Brown set to miss out again

Celtic Park
Discosebastian, Wikimedia Commons

The steely presence in the Celtic midfield, Scott Brown, was absent during his side’s test in Germany a fortnight ago due to a calf problem. Despite being a low grade strain, three weeks was the initial estimate for his return meaning it’s unlikely the Scotsman will be ready in time for Thursday’s upcoming clash. The versatile Callum McGregor looks set to take up the holding midfield role in his absence after being deployed there against Hearts. Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on his performance after the match but more so for his movement and range of passing as he wasn’t really tested defensively.

In-form Forrest returns

A red card shown to James Forrest against Salzburg made Celtic’s evening go from bad to worse in Austria. The 27-year-old offers plenty of bite to the Bhoys attack and Brendan Rodgers would have been ruing his absence when up against Leipzig last month. Without the services of the suspended Scot, it took the visiting side 85 minutes to register a shot on target. Having now served his one match ban, the winger, who has scored in his last three Celtic appearances, will attempt to make up for lost time.

RB Leipzig News: Augustin injury no concern

RB Leipzig Game at the Red Bull Arena
Ungry Young Man, flickr

There was no place for Jean-Kevin Augustin in the Leipzig squad that beaten Hertha Berlin 3-0 last weekend. The young Frenchman was ruled out by a minor thigh strain and it’s one that puts his involvement in this game in some doubt. He’s been a regular pick for Ralf Rangnick in this competition but his potential absence will not cause the Red Bulls any issues. Timo Werner would be his likely replacement and the 22-year-old has found the net four times in his last two matches. The German international is yet to feature in the Europa League proper but Rangnick won’t be against handing him a run out in Glasgow.

The great wall of Leipzig

Speaking after his side’s impressive victory over Hertha Berlin, Ralf Rangnick spoke about how his defence has tightened up recently. It’s perhaps rather an understatement given that the Bundesliga club have gone six games without conceding a single goal. They boast the best defensive record in the German top flight despite losing 4-1 to Dortmund on the opening day of the season. Celtic did have a couple of sniffs at goal at goal in Leipzig but they largely struggled to make any real impressive against a steadfast backline.

Analysis: Rodgers remains optimistic

Despite being beaten quite comfortably in Leipzig, Brendan Rodgers saw enough from his side’s performance to make him believe a return fixture win is within their capabilities. He’s drawn confidence from that fact that Leipzig only scored following defensive mistakes, something that can potentially be cut out. The Northern Irish boss also knows how big of an impact the home crowd can have for what is, as he himself acknowledged, a must-win contest.

Tougher time awaits Bundesliga side

It was all a little bit too easy for Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena when taking on Celtic last month. Odsonne Edouard gave the hosts an early scare but after this the Bundesliga took control of proceedings, always looking the most likely side to claim all three points. Ralf Ragnick’s men will have a harder time of things at Celtic Park though. The Bhoys’ home record in Europe is a stark improvement on their terrible one overseas. While a desperately needed win still seems beyond Celtic due to Leipzig’s quality, a draw (13/5) is certainly not out of the question.

Leipzig attack too strong despite Celtic improvements

Celtic have been faring well defensively ever since Jozo Simunovic was stretchered off against RB Leipzig. The Bosnian was brought off after 75 minutes and since then the Hoops haven’t conceded a goal. Leicester City loanee Filip Benkovic has stepped in as his replacement and the young central defender has shone since being handed another chance. It looks as though a Benkovic-Boyata partnership could be the way forward for Rodgers but even this won’t be enough to contain an excellent Leipzig attack. The Germans showed plenty of zip going forwards when the two sides last met and they should ensure that both sides find the net (4/6) at Celtic Park.

Celtic forced to take risks

A draw does very little for Celtic in this game as it would mean they are reliant on an unlikely set of results occurring for the remainder of the group stage. If not already in the lead, they will be forced to press for a winner towards the latter stages of the game. Leipzig offer a real threat on the counter however so there is a good chance the game could end up being rather stretched. The second 45 minutes is likely to see the bulk of the goal scoring action as a result so we’re tipping it to be the half with most goals at odds of evens.

Recent Matches

RB Leipzig have only played 20 European matches during their brief history so there’s no surprise that last month’s meeting with Celtic was their first ever coming together. This Thursday’s contest will be their first experience of playing in Scotland and it’ll be a fairly intimidating visit with a bustling Celtic Park in full voice.

25th October 2018: RB Leipzig 2 – 0 Celtic

Leipzig were strong favourites for this match and they did not disappoint despite being some way from full strength. A missed clearance form Dedryck Boyata allowed Matheus Cunha to fire home and four minutes later Bruma doubled the advantage. The lead could have been extended further but Craig Gordon got down swiftly in order to tip Jean-Kevin Augustin’s hard drive onto the post.

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