Celtic’s dismal Europa League campaign may end with another defeat
Football is a costly business and teams like Celtic need a run in Europe to justify the expenditure of a big squad so how much good will manager Ronny Deila has remaining is being questioned.
Deila’s European record came under further scrutiny two weeks ago after the 2-1 defeat by Ajax at Celtic Park ensured they will finish bottom of Europa League Group A with two points from five fixtures and confirmed their exit from the tournament ahead of their trip to Fenerbahce this week.
The SPL champions, well on course for another domestic title, have failed to qualify for the Champions League under the Norwegian for two successive seasons – and he had two chances in the last campaign after Celtic were reinstated due to a technicality.
Despite failing to win any of their last 10 Europa League matches, the Hoops boss has vowed to make it to European football’s elite club competition next year should, as expected, Celtic win the Scottish Premiership – but will he still be around to fulfill that pledge?
The Hoops have won at Inverness since losing to Ajax but that result only goes to prove that Celtic just aren’t getting enough competitive matches at home to prepare them for taking on Europe’s top teams and they will be without captain Scott Brown and fellow Scotland international Charlie Mulgrew for the trip to the Sukru Saracoglu in Istanbul.
To make matters worse, Fenerbahce have to win their final match in Group A to give themselves a chance of overhauling Molde at the top of the section and ensure they finish ahead of Ajax.
Another defeat looms for Celtic, though Fenerbahce are only 4/11 in our Full Time Result betting and both teams have scored in the Hoops’ last seven away matches in Europe – it’s 5/6 for that to occur again in Istanbul. Fenerbahce aren’t prolific scorers – there have been Under (2.5) goals scored in their last three Europa League ties – so Under (2.5) in our Goals Over/Under market this time could be worth a bet at 5/4.
However, Celtic have nothing to play for while the home side have plenty and the Sukru Saracoglu can generate a very hostile atmosphere on such occasions. The Scots may just crumble and you can back Fenerbahce at 12/5 on our Alternative Handicap conceding (2.0) start.
The match kicks off at 6.00pm on Thursday, December 10 at the Sukru Saracoglu, Istanbul
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.