The Champions League returns for Matchday 3, and we are off to Celtic Park.
Under The Lights
Celtic currently prop up the Group E table and defeat on Wednesday will only further dent their hopes of knockout progress.
At The Foot
The Champions League anthem will once again be blaring out at Celtic Park on Wednesday night as Atletico Madrid come to town and with Brendan Rodgers’ men having lost their first two European outings of the season, there will be a lot riding on their next performance.
A win at home to Atletico would thrust the Hoops back into the Round of 16 qualification mix, anything else on Wednesday and the focus will shift to trying to find a parachute to the Europa League instead.
A parachute that may be hard to get hold off after already being beaten by Feyenoord in Matchday 1 and with the Rotterdam-based outfit having a three-point lead over Celtic in the race for third, now is the time for the Scottish champions to find an extra gear.
Something that they have had no issue finding on a domestic front, already they find themselves seven points clear at the top of the Premiership, already there is talk of this club acting as champions elect.
Now it is time to elect a hero in the Champions League and with the might of Diego Simeone’s Atletico standing in the opposite corner, one of the continent’s heavyweights will be looking to land a competitive knockout blow.
Especially as Atletico not only top the Group E standings in this competition but they have also been competitive on a domestic front. The Wanda Metropolitano outfit are just three points off the La Liga pace, perhaps more importantly they also have a game in hand.
Not only that, but they have also won each of their last five league outings. A quintet of victories that include the scalps of both Real Madrid and Sociedad, suddenly this Atletico side is looking like the real deal.
A side that Celtic know they will have to deal with in just a few hours and although they were far too hot for Hearts to handle at the weekend, those involved on Sunday know that the temperature will now increase by some magnitude.
Kings of Scotland, court jesters in Europe. That is the constant conundrum that Celtic have had on the continent and if they are to continue to mix it with the big boys, they may need a coming-of-age performance in just a few hours.
But now it is time for the first of my two tips and although the roar of Celtic Park can often make teams wilt, I think Wednesday’s visitors will have enough to grind out a win. They won by a single goal on Matchday 2, the same outcome in Glasgow is currently priced at 3/1.
In addition to this, I am also taking a look at Antoine Griezmann. The French forward scored a treble at the weekend, I am backing him to score at least twice against Celtic and this is on the betting slip at odds of 11/1.