Celtic host Real Madrid on the opening night of Champions League action, a game as big as they come for the Scottish club. They couldn’t arrive in better shape, after their thrashing of Rangers in the Old Firm game on Saturday, momentum is with them, tails will be up, but Europe is a completely different ball game for Scottish sides.
My bet builder for the game features two players, one from each team, who look set to have a big impact on the game, as well as the match result, and a bet on corners that looks good based on recent stats.
- Real Madrid to win
- Karim Benzema to score anytime
- Kyogo Furuhashi to score or assist anytime
- Over 9.5 match corners
Real Madrid to win
Celtic may well come here on the back of a great domestic win, but when Scottish clubs step into Europe, we often see them struggle at the top table, the Champions League. There is a big gap in quality, sometimes one that surprises those clubs, and while Celtic will give it a go and try to mix it up with one of the best teams in Europe, ultimately they are likely to fall short, and lose the game.
The bet builder kicks off with an away win.
Karim Benzema to score anytime
Not only are Real Madrid one of the best teams in Europe, but they’ve got one of the best goalscorers in Europe leading their line, with Karim Benzema, who’s shown his quality in Europe time and time again. The 34-year-old has played five games so far this season, scoring four goals, including one in Europe already, in the Super Cup last month.
He’s deadly in front of goal, far greater in quality than anything Celtic will come across in the Scottish Premiership, and can find the net this evening.
Kyogo Furuhashi to score or assist anytime
While Benzema leads the way for Madrid, Celtic have their own influencer who’s got off to an excellent start this season. The Japanese playmaker is at the heart of many things Celtic do when going forward, and fans feared the worse when he went off after just five minutes in the Old Firm clash on Saturday. However, he’s since taken part in a full training session and looks to be fit enough to play.
This season it’s been all goals from Furuhashi, with six in six games (technically five, as he only played five minutes against Rangers), but he’s also more than capable of assisting so to give us two opportunities for a win, we’ll go with him to score or assist in the game here.
Over 9.5 match corners
Rounding off the bet builder, we go to the corners market, a simple pick based on recent stats. Both teams love to attack, and even though this is a massive step up in quality for Celtic, all the talk has been about them giving it a go and playing their normal game.
Take out the Old Firm clash, as derbies are never a strong point for stats, and in the two games before that, Celtic had 11 corners themselves in games against Ross County and Dundee United. Real Madrid also like a corner, they had nine last weekend against Real Betis, and seven the week before against Espanyol.
Throw all of that together, and assuming Celtic open up as they say they are going to, getting over 9.5 in the match in total from both sides looks more than achievable to round off our 16/1 bet builder for Celtic v Real Madrid.