characteristic of Scottish sides
Angel Postecoglou failed his first test as Celtic manager when his side were knocked out of the Champions League at the earliest opportunity. Fans are still in shock, but the Bhoys need to dust themselves off and come back. Celtic travel to the Czech Republic on Thursday to face FK Jablonec in the Europa League qualifying round. Quite the fall from grace.
The Hoops aren’t the only Scottish team in action on the continent. St Johnstone visits Galatasaray in the Europa League while Hibs hosts HNK Rejjeka in the Conference League and Bridablik faces Aberdeen. A thrilling night is coming.
FK Jablonec vs. Celtic
Thursday, 4:45 p.m.
The home team is entering this competition following a hugely successful national campaign. They finished last season in third place, securing their place in the Europa League, with Slavia Prague and Sparta Prague winning both Champions League places.
Jablonec started the season with a hard-earned 1-0 home victory over Banik Ostrava, but was well beaten this weekend. On Saturday they went to Mlada Boleslav and lost 3-0, which was a real slash for confidence at the worst possible time. The bet on the Betfair Sportsbook has a home win at 3.6013/5.
Unmissable game for Celtic
Celtic boss Postecoglou has never won a competitive match with his new employers. The former Australian boss who has limited experience in Europe drew with the Danish side Midtjylland but was knocked out of the Champions League in overtime, losing 2-1 last week.
The Hoops pulled off their Scottish Premiership title challenge on the worst possible start, losing 2-1 to the newly promoted Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday. This result meant they finished the game second from the bottom of the league with rival Old Firm Rangers on pole position. Fans are starting to get restless. The away victory is 1.855/6 with a print 3.4012/5.
It’s still very early in the season for both teams, and we expect to see some goals. Jablonec doesn’t look the best, but they can score against a nervous and disorganized Celtic defense. Support both teams to score and Celtic to win at 4.3310/3.
Galatasaray vs. St Johnstone
Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
Turkish side Galatasaray will be injured after another season missing out on Champions League millions. They will want to take this frustration Thursday for the Scottish Premiership in St Johnstone, as they aim to advance to the group stages of this tournament.
They were knocked out of the European top flight by Dutch club PSV last week, beaten at home and away. The aggregate score was embarrassing for the Turks, who collapsed in the qualifying rounds 7-2 overall and which included a 2-1 home loss last Wednesday. Despite this, we take Galatasaray to win this game at 1.251/4. At home, the Turks are good enough to kill this tie and can be supported -2 goals on handicap at 3.505/2 with the Sportsbook.
Saints enter the lion’s den
St Johnstone fans have spent the summer months dreaming of their club’s return to European football only to be hit by a monster tie at the first opportunity. It’s safe to say there were easier teams the Saints could have shot in qualifying.
A trip to Turkey is not well received by most of Europe’s top clubs, and St Johnstone will struggle from the first whistle. Their best bet is to frustrate an opponent already under pressure and hope the crowd turns on them. Will St Johnstone return to Perth in one piece? The away victory is 9.5017/2 with the draw 54/1.