Saturday 23rd July. 5:30PM. Sky Sports 1
The new domestic season is fast approaching. Before that, however some of Europe’s biggest heavyweights are playing in the global International Champions Cup. On Saturday, the champions of Scotland and England collide in what should be an interesting battle at Celtic Park.
Results in the ICC might not be that important in the grand scheme of things, but all 17 clubs will want to make the most of this global exposure. Meanwhile, it’s a great test for Celtic and Leicester to pit themselves against competitive opposition ahead of the new season too.
So who will take the spoils in Glasgow? Here’s all you need to know.
Celtic To Complete Hat-Trick Of Home Wins
New manager Brendan Rodgers may have been left a little red faced by defeat in his first competitive match, away at Lincoln Red Imps, but Celtic bounced back with a comfortable second leg win to progress to the next phase of Champions League qualifying while they also beat Wolfsburg in a friendly last weekend. Will they make it three wins in eight days?
The Celtic Park crowd will certainly think so, especially at the majority of senior players should be ready to play again after what was almost a training session on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the SPL champions may also hand a debut to new signing Erik Sviatchenko.
Celtic might rotate slightly ahead of next week’s trip to Kazakhstan, but they’ll still want to put on a good show. Stars like Tom Rogic will be desperate to show that they deserve a starting berth in Astana too, so it should be competitive performance form the Scottish side.
At this stage, Rodgers will be more concerned with performance and fitness rather than the result. Nonetheless, the Bhoys would love a win over the current Premier League kings.
Foxes To Capitalise On Opportunity
Last season’s heroics have put Leicester City firmly on the world football map but this campaign could take them to a new level altogether, starting with this ICC fixture in Scotland. Claudio Ranieri’s men won’t want to let the opportunity slip.
The Premier League champions may have lost N’golo Kante, but they’ve done well to retain the services of most players. Saturday’s showdown is likely to come a little too early for England star Jamie Vardy, but a number of stars from the Premier League-winning side of 2015-16 should be in attendance while £13m signing Nampalys Mendy could get some game too time.
Pre-season is very much in its infancy for Leicester, and this will be a great opportunity to prepare for the challenge ahead. A trip to California follows, but they’ll want a win and good performance to build some momentum.
It might not be the standout clash of the ICC tournament, but it could be one of the most exciting. Football is back; hopefully we’ll land some profit too.
Celtic v Leicester City Betting
Despite conceding home advantage, it’s the English champions that enter Saturday’s clash as the 6/5 favourites with Bet365. Meanwhile, Celtic can be backed at 15/8 and the draw is 12/5.
It should be an entertaining occasion, but neither team will be overly focused on the result. Hopefully, with some good attacking talent on display, we should see plenty of drama.
Both teams are more than capable of scoring, and we think they will. The odds aren’t fantastic, but it should have a good chance of winning.
With Rodgers and Celtic preparing for the mammoth trip to Astana, there could be a few changes after half-time. While Leicester may take this approach too, the home side’s rotation could give the Foxes an advantage.
It might be worth waiting until the game is in play, but we’ll be taking the risk pre-game and backing Leicester to win the second half at odds of 6/4.