No Luck For The Old Lady at Celtic Park!
Round : Last 16 - 1st Leg
90 Minute Betting: Celtic @ 7/2 Draw @ 12/5 Juventus @ 5/6
A game between the ultimately surprising Celtic and the still relatively unknown quantity that is Juventus.
The Hoops, whose manager Neil Lennon is giving key players Georgios Samaras and Efe Ambrose every chance to prove their fitness for this all important match, collected ten points in the Champions' League group stages.
In itself a creditable return, however a closer look reveals some startling insights into the fighting spirit and tenacity of this Scottish outfit. The group included Benfica, Spartak Moscow and the mighty Barcelona.
Celtic's ability to rise to the occasion was decisive in their 2-1 defeat of Barca at Celtic Park, though not as surprising as it appears at first glance when you consider Celtic's amazing recent record of 21 wins in their last 23 Champions League home ties.
However, as this is the knock out stages, these are now two legged affairs (To Qualify: Celtic @ 7/2 Juventus @ 1/6), meaning a trip to Turin for the second leg.
So this Celtic Park leg is all important.
The Hoops have managed to score early in a majority of their Group matches and this could be the decisive factor against an Italian team that doesn't leak easy goals and has made defence an art.
Gary Hooper (Special Enhanced Wincast Offer - Gary Hooper to score and Celtic to win 1st Leg @ 10/1 - was 5/1) is @7/1 to score the first goal and @ 2/1 to score at any time, while Samaras is @ 9/1 and @ 10/3 respectively. These two will be the building platform for goal mouth action.
During the group stages, these two managed an impressive five strikes in the six matches.
Celtic's habit of scoring early must be considered in the goal markets and if they manage to continue this, then the @ 15/2 on a Celtic/Celtic double result would be enticing. From another perspective, Juventus managed twelve goals in their group stage as they won three and drew three of their six to remain one of only four unbeaten teams in this year's tournament.
Like the Hoops in the Scottish Premier League, the Old Lady lead Serie A and, although not undefeated like last season, have won 17 of their 24 matches and scored fifty goals.
Vidal, Quagliarella and Giovinco led the scoring in the group games and they are @ 9/2, 6/1 and 9/2 respectively to open the scoring and @ 6/5, 7/4 and 6/5 to score at any time. While we are also offering a Special Enhanced Wincast on Sebastian Giovinco to score and Juventus to win the 1st leg @ 11/4 - was 9/5.
This is a double sided match, where you either lean towards Celtic's undoubtedly impressive home record and overall tenacity or veer over to the class of Juventus.
Celtic have surprised on numerous occasions this season and I have a feeling that Lennon has them ready for another battle royal!
Celtic to score first @ 9/5
Under 1.5 match goals @ 2/1
Celtic to lead at half time @ 9/2
Worth a Speculation:
Celtic to win to Nil @ 6/1
Celtic to win 1-0 @10/1
Match Opta Facts & Stats:
o Celtic and Juventus have met four times in the past, each of their encounters ending in a home win.
o Their last encounter dates back to October 2001, in the Champions League group stages. The Bhoys won 4-3 at Celtic Park.
o The last two competitive encounters between Celtic and Juventus have produced 12 goals.
o This is the first time Celtic have reached the last 16 of the Champions League since 2007/08. They've never progressed further.
o Juventus hadn't reached the knockout stages of the Champions League since 2008/09.
o No Italian club has won at Celtic Park in the Champions League (two defeats, two draws).
o Celtic have suffered only two defeats in 23 home games in the Champions League, both against Barcelona.
o Juventus are one of four teams unbeaten in the Champions League this season with Borussia Dortmund, Malaga and Schalke.
o Celtic have scored the joint-most headed goals in the Champions League this season, alongside Galatasaray (4). Three of them have been netted by Georgios Samaras.
o Only PSG conceded fewer goals (3) than Juventus (4) in the Champions League group stages this season. They've kept a clean sheet in their last three games.
o Juventus have the most prolific substitutes in the Champions League this season with four goals from players who have come off the bench.
o Juventus had the joint-most shots in the group stages this season, alongside Real Madrid (126, including blocked shots).
o Andrea Pirlo completed the most crosses during the group stages (23).
o Fraser Forster was the busiest goalkeeper in the group stages among the teams who reached the last 16 with 25 saves.