Celtic's Champions League curtain-raiser against Paris Saint-Germain did not go to plan for the Scottish champions as Brendan Rodgers' men suffered a chastening 5-0 defeat against the Ligue 1 side at Celtic Park.
The gulf between the two teams in Glasgow was great, but the Hoops will hope for much better when they travel to take on Anderlecht in Group B on Wednesday night.
The Belgian champions, too, were soundly beaten in their opening group game, with Bayern Munich breezing to a comfortable 3-0 win in Bavaria and, so, Anderlecht, too, are aiming to kickstart their campaign against the Hoops.
When the draw was made, many observers suggested that Celtic and Anderlecht would be battling for third place and a spot in the last 32 of the Europa League, rather than competing with PSG and Bayern Munich to reach the knockout stages of this competition; on the strength of the opening round of fixtures, that certainly appears to be a fair assessment.
Victory here, though, would give both sides renewed hope of progression and it is the Belgian side who are chalked up as BetSafe's 27/25 (2.08) favourites to take all three points from this tie; the same firm go 14/5 (3.80) that the match remains all square at the end of what is sure to be a keenly-contested 90 minutes.
The Bhoys have a wretched record on the road in this competition, having won just two of their last 11 Champions League ties away from home - and both of those victories came in qualifying ties; Celtic failed to win any of their six games at the group stage last term and Rodgers’ men can be backed at 13/5 (3.60) to buck the trend with a win in this one.
Celtic claimed the spoils against bitter rivals Rangers on the weekend but Celtic were far more dominant than the 2-0 scoreline might suggest; however, they certainly cannot afford to be profligate in Belgium and BetSafe go 17/10 (2.70) that Celtic score more than once - it is a selection that would have paid dividends in seven of the Hoops' last nine matches in all competitions.
Anderlecht, though, will come into this clash in confident mood, for the defeat against Bayern Munich was only the loss that Nicola Frutos' men have suffered in their last six matches, while the Belgian side have been beaten in just two of their last 19 matches on their own patch.
Celtic have been the utterly dominant force in Scottish football since Rodgers arrived in Glasgow, but the Hoops have often struggled to step up in European competition and that could well be the case again here.
BetSafe go 27/25 (2.08) that Anderlecht come out on top against Celtic and that price may represent good value for punters ahead of Wednesday's crucial Champions League clash in the Belgian capital.
|Anderlecht to win at 27/25 (2.08) for a 1pt stake with Betsafe|