A big night in Glasgow as Celtic kick-off their Champions League campaign vs PSG. Frank Monkhouse looks at how this one should play out, with goals expected...
"If Rodgers gets it wrong this could be ugly. Over 3.5 goals in the match is [2.16]"
Celtic need Dembele back, and firing
There's something special about a Champions League night in Glasgow and Scottish champions Celtic will continue that tradition on Tuesday evening when welcoming the big-guns of PSG to Parkhead. Few give Brendan Rodgers' side a chance of getting anything out of the tie, but that means nothing to the locals and their hardy band of fans, who have become accustomed to upsetting the odds at home in this competition.
Celtic took points off Manchester City in a six-goal thriller at this venue last season, ending 3-3 vs The Citizens in a match they really could've won. A brace from Dembele and a Sterling own-goal was matched by Fernandinho, Nolito and one for Sterling at the right end. If The Hoops can match the passion and determination we saw that night, they'll certainly go close again.
This will be the third match in history involving Celtic and Paris St Germain, but the head-to-head stats does little to inspire confidence in a home win. In fact, of the two games already in the book - the pair meeting in the European Cup Winners Cup back in 1995 - the aggregate score stands at Celtic 0-4 PSG. The Bhoys will be hoping for a bit more luck in front of goal.
To get it they'll need star striker Moussa Dembele back fit and firing. The young Frenchman, who was a real standout in his employer's treble winning squad last season, will be asked to lead the line vs PSG, but only if he's 100% fit, and has shown Brendan Rodgers behind the scenes that he's sharp enough and confident enough to deliver the goods. It's no secret the France U21 cap is determined to fire his way to a contract at a bigger club. Scoring vs Neymar and co would help him achieve just that. Dembele is top price 10/3 on the sportsbook to net anytime during the 90 minutes.
PSG have hit the ground running
Celtic moved back to the top of the Scottish Premiership with a convincing win over Hamilton on Friday night, but they weren't anywhere near as impressive as PSG. The free-spending Parisians, who spent the summer upsetting everyone, from FIFA to Barcelona, have hit the ground running in Ligue 1. Did we expect anything less?
Unai Emery's side show a 100% league record from five games played, scoring 19 goals and conceding just three. They kept pace away to Metz on Friday, roaring to a 5-1 win. Not as convincing as the final score would have you believe - the pair going into the break locked at 1-1 - but a score that will have Celtic fans fearing the worst, and Brendan Rodgers scratching his head over a way to stop that attack.
Riviere was on target for Metz, who had Assou-Ekotto sent off, PSG taking full advantage. Goals from Cavani x2, Mbappe, Neymar and Moura completed the destruction. That reads like a who's who of match winners.
The focus of attention will be on Neymar, following his record-breaking move from Barcelona in the summer, but wonderkid Kylian Mbappe scored on his debut at the weekend, and will be hungry for more. The 18-year-old attracted a weighty pricetag of his own, moving from Monaco in a deal that will eventually be settled at 180m euros. The Frenchman is 7/2 to score first, or 4/5 to have the ball in the net anytime during play. Teammate, and fellow scorer, Neymar is 10/3 to break the deadlock, or 4/6 anytime. Prices available through the sportsbook.
Market supports a strong away win
Celtic may enjoy home advantage, and run out in front of a deeply loyal capacity crowd on Tuesday, but they have little chance of winning the match, according to the betting. That'll come as no surprise to football fans, with PSG currently no better than [1.26] on the exchange. The sportsbook has -2 on the handicap at a market best price of 9/5.
That means, if you fancy an upset, or just want to show your support to the Scottish side, there's a cracking price available to those brave enough to have a go. Celtic to pull off a monumental home win over PSG is worth shouting about at [13.5]. The draw isn't too much more likely at [7.2], while both teams to score offers an option, a worthwhile [1.98] going there.
Get on goals in Glasgow
The weekend results of both teams suggests we're in for a high-scoring night, with PSG's win over Metz giving six goals, while Hamilton vs Celtic produced five. The Bhoys are impressive going forward, and Scott Sinclair netted another double on Friday, while new boy Edouard - on loan from PSG - notched a debut goal.
There's plenty to worry Celtic fans at the opposite end of the field however, and as well as PSG's wealth of talent in attack, Brendan Rodgers still doesn't know his best defensive line-up. Will he go with four at the back and play Nir Bitton out of position, or will he go three in front of Craig Gordan and two wing-backs, becoming a five when the hosts don't have the ball?
That's more likely, but would leave gaps in behind for the pace of Neymar and his boys to attack. If Rodgers gets it wrong this could be ugly. Over 3.5 goals in the match is [2.16].