Maribor v Celtic
Live on Sky Sports 5 7.45pm
After his side were put to the sword in a 6-1 overall defeat to Legia Warsaw, Deila’s Celtic were seemingly eliminated from the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League. However, based on an ineligible player being introduced as an 87th minute substitute in the second part of this two-legged tie, UEFA annulled Legia Warsaw’s 2-0 win in Scotland and instead awarded Celtic a 3-0 victory, which put them through to the next round 4-4 on aggregate.
Given the potential benefit of this technicality to Celtic – both fiscally and in terms of maintaining a high level of competition on the pitch – Delia has urged his charges not to waste the second chance they’ve been granted by European football’s governing body.
Hoops back on track in the SPL
With their first league game of the season postponed due to European commitments, Celtic easily swept St. Johnstone aside in a 3-0 win to open up their domestic campaign, on the road. Next up, only days later, Celtic thrashed then table -toppers Dundee United 6-1 at Celtic Park to make it two wins from two games. A result which, despite having played a game less than their rivals, puts Celtic top of the SPL.
Mathews and Adams likely to miss trip to Maribor
Despite being hampered by the probable absences of right-back Adam Mathews and winger James Forrest for Celtic’s trip to Maribor in the first leg of the final Champions League play-off round, Delia expects his charges to avoid defeat in Slovenia on Wednesday evening and will send his troops out with a positive attitude, aiming to get what could be a vital away goal.
Maribor have a 100% record on home soil in 2014/15
While the Slovenians are only a few weeks into their domestic season, they’ve won all three of their league games at home and have also recorded two wins in earlier rounds of Champions League qualification, beating Maccabi Tel Aviv and Zrinjski Mostar 1 and 2-0 respectively.
Maribor v Celtic Betting
Maribor are priced at 2/1 with SkyBet, the draw is 23/10 and Celtic are 6/4.
All in all, we think that Celtic’s two recent quick- fire SPL wins and UEFA reprieve will lead to increased confidence on the pitch and a good performance in Slovenia.
However, we don’t want to bet against a team that has a 100% record at home and instead opt to take a chance on both teams scoring.