Champions League: Linfield v Celtic (Friday, 5pm)

July 7, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Champions League,Football

It’s a battle of Britain at Windsor Park on Friday as Northern Irish champions Linfield host Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic in a Champions League qualification match.

We take you through our match preview and betting tips for the tie in Belfast.

Linfield v Celtic Match predictions

Celtic win 2/11 – BetStars, Betway

Best Linfield v Celtic bet

Under 2.5 goals 9/4 – Betfred

Past Linfield v Celtic meetings

This will be the first ever meeting between the two clubs.

Linfield have played Celtic’s city rivals a number of times in friendly matches over recent years, and are yet to avoid defeat.

Four years ago, the Scottish side defeated Northern Irish side Cliftonville 5-0 in aggregate in their Champions League clash, winning 0-3 in Belfast.

Linfield v Celtic Stats

Linfield won the Northern Irish domestic treble last season including their first league title in five years, winning 19 of their final 20 matches in all competitions.

The Blues progressed past San Marino champions La Fiorita 1-0 on aggregate.

Celtic did not lose any of their 47 domestic matches last season en route to a remarkable domestic treble, however they found the European stage trickier.

In qualifying for the Champions League they fell to a shock 1-0 loss at Gibraltar’s Lincoln Red Imps before winning 3-1 on aggregate, while they also scrapped aggregate victories over Astana (Kazakhstan) and Hapoel Beer Sheva (Israel). They failed to win any of their six Champions League group stage matches.

Linfield v Celtic Team News

Linfield have a fully fit squad – experienced Northern Ireland international Roy Carroll will start as goalkeeper while new signings Robert Garrett (Portadown) and Jordan Stewart (Swindon) will be pushing for starts, although new signing Joshua Robinson (York City) will not feature. Andrew Waterworth, formerly of Hamilton, will lead the line.

Celtic are expected to include Jonny Hayes – signed from Aberdeen – in their matchday squad, although Dedryck Boyata will miss out with a knee injury. Erik Sviatchenko and Jozo Simunovic are expected to be the two central defenders.

Reason for Linfield v Celtic bets

There is much anticipation, excitement and a degree of anxiety around this tie due to it’s unique nature and delicate timing – coinciding with the ‘Twelfth of July’ in Belfast.

Celtic will undoubtedly be heavy favourites for this match – reflected in odds of 2/11 win – and if the Blues manage to avoid defeat they would see it as a great success.

Linfield have now made it through European ties in five of the last six campaigns and have also recorded individual victories over Xanthi and AIK Solna, along with draws against Dinamo Zagreb, Rosenborg and BATE Borisov.

They are no pushovers and under boss David Healy they have added an extra layer of resilience – known as a team with a solid spine who refuse to lie down.

The hosts are defensively strong and will aim to hold Celtic, with odds of 9/4 for under 2.5 goals particularly tempting, as it undervalues the Blues form since the turn of the year – their last loss in any competition came on 3 January.

Linfield v Celtic match prediction

Celtic win 2/11 – BetStars, Betway

Specific Linfield v Celtic bet prediction

Under 2.5 goals 9/4 – Betfred

  1. Site Editor said on July 20, 2017 6:41 pm:

    Celtic win 2-0, another winner! 😀