Celtic know they must win in Denmark to keep alive their Champions League hopes and Frankie Monkhouse believes they are a decent price to pull it off...
"The Hoops played a warm-up friendly match at home against English Premier League side West Ham, but that fixture threw up more questions than answers."
Tie hangs in the balance
The intriguing Champions League qualifier between Midtjylland and Celtic will be decided in Denmark on Wednesday evening. The tie is level at 1-1, but as the controversial away goal rule has been scrapped for this season, we have a straight shootout for a place in the next round.
Which team will seize this opportunity and book their place in the next stage and which will see their involvement cut painfully short? Midtjylland enjoy the home advantage, but Celtic know their entire season could rest on the outcome of this game.
Midtjylland still in the mix
Midtjylland went to Glasgow last Tuesday hoping to catch their opponents cold, get on the scoresheet and ensure the tie remained competitive for the return leg. They achieved just that, leaving Parkhead with a 1-1 draw and every chance of making it through, keeping alive their dreams of reaching the money-spinning group stages.
The hosts warmed up for this game with a confidence-boosting 1-0 away win over Aalborg BK in the Danish Superliga on Saturday. Three points, a clean sheet and an impressive performance would have done wonders for team morale. They'll be ready to go out and put Celtic to the sword, cheered on by an expectant crowd inside MCH Arena.
The pressure is on Postecoglou
After taking the lead against Midtjylland eight days ago, thanks to a 39th minute goal from new boy Liel Abada, the Bhoys had Nir Bitton sent off just before half-time. That allowed their opponents to get level on 66 minutes thanks to a good strike from Evander, but only after Anders Dreyer received his marching orders.
The visitors to Glasgow had chances to win the match, but at the whistle, neither side could argue with a draw. Except for Postecoglou, who said his men deserved the three points in a post-match interview.
The Hoops played a warm-up friendly match at home against English Premier League side West Ham, but that fixture threw up more questions than answers. They were torn to shreds by David Moyes' men, who flexed their muscles with a 6-2 win. The Celtic squad now board their flight to Denmark battered and bruised, knowing everyone is under pressure, from the players to the manager. It may only be July, but this is already a must-win.
A lot is riding on this game
Midtjylland impressed at Parkhead, but they lost the first goal and took their time to get the equaliser despite Bitton's red card. It took for the match to become ten v ten before they found the gaps and scored. Playing against 11 men who will be ordered to tighten up at the back will prove a more formidable task. The home win is priced at 2.546/4 on the Exchange, with Celtic 2.942/1 for the win and the draw 3.412/5.
Celtic's Champions League future rests on this match, as does Postecoglou's summer budget. Missing out on the Champions League cash will be another major blow for the team that lost 10 in a row last season and were knocked out in the early rounds of both the Champions League and Europa League. The pressure is on then, but at just shy of 2/1 they are the standout bet in the match odds market as the players know just how vital the match is.
Cash in on a fragile defence
This Celtic team is a long way from where Postecoglou wants it. He has been given the funds to invest but will lose a few of his better players, and new faces are taking time to get past Covid restrictions. He is particularly light at the back, and that will likely lead to them conceding more goals here even if they do win. Over 2.5 goals in this game is 2.01/1 with under 2.5 goals trading at 1.9210/11.
Both teams to score would have landed backers a profit with plenty of time to spare in last week's match. This game should follow a similar path, and bettors can try both teams to score again at odds of 1.748/11 with no in the same market a 2.1411/10 option.