Free tip Champions League: Celtic v Linfield (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

It’s a battle of Britain at Celtic Park on Wednesday as Scottish champions Celtic host Northern Irish champions Linfield in the second leg of their Champions League qualification match.

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

Celtic v Linfield Match predictions

Celtic win 11/200 – MarathonBet

Best Celtic v Linfield bet

Scott Sinclair anytime goalscorer 11/20 – BetStars, William Hill

Past Celtic v Linfield meetings

Celtic won the first leg 2-0 thanks to quick fire first half strikes – a Mark Haughey own goal and Tom Rogic strike. The goals came within a five-minute spell midway through the first period, and both were the result of corners.

That was the first ever fixture between the two clubs, although Linfield have played Celtic’s city rivals Rangers a number of times in friendly matches over recent years, and are yet to avoid defeat.

Four years ago, the Hoops defeated Northern Irish side Cliftonville 5-0 in aggregate in their Champions League clash, winning 2-0 in Glasgow.

Celtic v Linfield 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.

Celtic v Linfield Team News

Celtic may include new signing Olivier Ntcham in their matchday squad with the midfielder pushing for a start, alongside Jonny Hayes – the new signing from Aberdeen came on from the bench in the first leg. Moussa Dembele will be hoping to start up front, with Leigh Griffiths possibly making way. Erik Sviatchenko and Jozo Simunovic are expected to be the two central defenders as Dedryck Boyata has a knee injury.

Linfield have a fully fit squad with the exception of defender Matthew Clarke, who suffered a leg gash from the first leg. He is likely to be replaced by fellow defender Joshua Robinson or forward Jordan Stewart – with the rest of the squad reshuffling. Andrew Mitchell may push to replace right-back Chris Casement, but no other changes are likely.

Reason for Celtic v Linfield bets

Celtic are comfortable favourites for this match and will be hopeful of winning by more than just than just the two goals they did at Windsor.

The odds perhaps overestimate just how easy this will be for Brendan Rodgers side as Linfield themselves are no pushovers – their strength is based on their spine and organisation.

With the tie already in a comfortable position, Celtic’s players are unlikely to overstretch themselves and a win of either 2-0 or 3-0 is the most likely outcome, reflecting the events of the first leg.

Odds of 11/200 do not represent strong value, but it is impossible to see anything other than a home victory for this one and it’s an extremely safe bet.

Scott Sinclair netted 26 times last season and the former Aston Villa man’s goal in Belfast got him off the mark for this campaign.

Revitalised in Scotland, he is a constant goal threat and has been transformed into the team’s star attacking player. He is guaranteed a start (while one of Dembele or Griffiths may not start) and despite relatively short odds of 11/200, this offers strong value considering the winger’s talent.

Celtic v Linfield match prediction

Celtic win 11/200 – MarathonBet

Specific Celtic v Linfield bet prediction

Scott Sinclair anytime goalscorer 11/20 – BetStars, William Hill

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