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Michael Taylor 8th Dec 2008 - 17:55

Bhoys out to regain Celtic pride

Gordon Strachan's Celtic play their last European game this season determined to prove they are better than their early exit would suggest, however, their opponents, Villarreal are unlikely to be in a giving mood.

A late Gary Caldwell own goal away at AaB Aalborg ensured Celtic will finish bottom of their Champions League group and in the process miss out on entering the UEFA Cup.

Now, the Bhoys go in search of their first Champions League win of the campaign against second-placed Villarreal and despite their poor Euro form they will feel confident backed by the raucos Celtic Park crowd and impressive SPL results.

Villarreal are already assured of their place in the next stage of the Champions League but a win could catapult them to the top of the group where they would face an easier last 16 opponent.

The Yellow Submarines are currently second in the Spanish La Liga Primera behind Barcelona and with the likes of Marcos Senna, Giuseppe Rossi and Matthias Fernandez amongst their ranks they have the ability to cause Celtic trouble.

However, Celtic Park has not been labelled a European fortress for no reason and 11/10 about a Hoops win looks to be great value, while 2/1 about Villarreal looks short taking into consideration Man Utd, AC Milan, Lyon and Bayern have all failed to win in Glasgow over the past five years. The draw is priced 11/5.

If Strachan's past tactics are anything to go by then Celtic will no doubt look to keep it tight and hope to hit Villarreal on the break, so a 1-0 win at 11/2 or 0-0 at 13/2 could be the best options for the correct score market. SPL leading scorer Georgios Samaras looks to have the best chance of finding the net and is priced 6/1 to score first or 7/4 anytime.

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