Salzburg v Celtic
Live on BT Sport 1 at 18:00 GMT, Ronny Delia’s Celtic face a tricky trip to Austria against Salzburg in their first Europa League game of 2014/15.
Salzburg and Celtic Both in Patchy Form
Although Celtic recently defeated Aberdeen 2-1 to snap a four game winless streak, they’ve been below par in 2014/15 competition and it’ll take a while for Ronny Deila’s tactics and new players to reach their zenith.
Eight-time Austrian league winners, Salzburg, on the other hand, proved to be an attractive, free scoring team that won every one of its Europa League group stage games in 2013/14, but the Red Bull owned side lost top spot in the Austrian Bundesliga recently and have been in poor form.
Indeed, Salzburg lost two of their last three league games and were surprisingly beaten 3-0 by Malmo in the final Champions League qualifying round.
Soriano’s the Danger Man for Salzburg
An ex-Barcelona B player who was prolific with the Catalan giants’ second team, Jonathan Soriano moved to Salzburg in 2012 and was an immediate success. The then 27-year-old was made captain of the side a year later and has racked-up an impressive record of 77 goals in only 81 games.
Notably, with eight goals, Soriano was the Europa League’s top scorer in 2013/14 and also recorded the highest goal tally of any individual in Austria in the same season.
Salzberg v Celtic Team News
Having played his first league game of the season after returning from injury last Saturday, Celtic captain Scott Brown will add to his 60 minutes of competitive football against Aberdeen by leading the Hoops in Austria.
Charlie Mulgrew, however, is still not available for selection after picking up a knee Injury on international duty for Scotland, while winger James Forrest and defenders Mikael Lustig and Adam Matthews are both also on the treatment table.
The recently signed on-loan John Guidetti won’t play for Celtic either as the paperwork was not registered in time for the Swede to play in the Europa League group stages.
Salzburg captain Jonathan Soriano is fully fit and will look to start the new European campaign off with a bang against Celtic.
Salzburg v Celtic Betting
BetVictor price Salzburg at 9/20, Coral offer the draw at a juicy 4/1 and Celtic are available at 15/2 with Bet 365.
All in all, you’d expect Salzburg to win, but given recent form and despite their opponents being in less than stellar form too, 9/20 is just not a bet. Goals are a consistent factor in Salzburg games with six of their last seven containing three goals or more.
However, over 2.5 goals is only priced at 4/7 and we think that betting on over 3.5 is a bit too risky in the first game for each team in the 2014/15 Europa League, so BTTS – a winner in four of the last six Celtic games – is our pick at a just about doable price.