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KR Reykjavik v Celtic Live – Hoops take Iceland Champions League trip

KR Reykjavik V Celtic

Tuesday 15th July. 8PM. Live on BBC Scotland

SPL champions Celtic raise the curtain on a new era on Tuesday as new manager Ronny Deila takes charge of his first competitive match with the trip to Iceland.

Celtic face KR Reykjavik in the second round of the Champions League qualifiers and will be hoping to kick the new era off in style with a comfortable first-leg victory. However, the Icelandic champions will be dreaming of a famous win at the KR-vollur.

Deila Delight

After Neil Lennon stepped down during the summer, Norwegian coach Ronny Deila was quickly named as Lennon’s successor and the 38-year-old will be looking to start his Celtic career with a bang in Iceland.

Having led former club Stromsgodset to the Tippeligaen title in 2014, Deila is already a winner and will be confident of bringing that mentality to Celtic Park over the coming season. His first task is to successfully navigate a route to the Champions League group stage, starting with the second round first-leg in Iceland.

Celtic have lost a few players over the summer, including Greek international Georgios Samaras, while further departures are expected. However, the Hoops have already brought in Craig Gordon and are reportedly in talks with a number of other potential targets as Deila looks to stamp his mark on the squad ahead of the coming season.

A two-legged tie with KR offers Deila the perfect honeymoon period and it should be a comfortable win for the Glasgow side. Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see how the Scot’s shape up under their new gaffer.

Icelandic Champions Out To Cause Upset

The odds may be stacked against them, but the Reykjavik club won’t be throwing the towel in just yet and will be hoping to claim their own piece of history against the SPL giants.

Runar Kristinsson’s side are already 11 games into the new Uralsdeild season and currently sit third in the standings, six points behind leaders FH. That would suggest that they’ve fallen back slightly since qualifying for the Champions League and they could face a difficult challenge against Celtic.

However, they will look to Shakhter Karagandy for inspiration as the Kazakh minnows claimed a 2-0 first-leg win in the third round qualifiers last term before a superb second-leg fightback saw the Glasgow club progress.

KR in great form at home too, winning five games on the spin in front of their home support. An upset is unlikely, but possible – we should be in for an exciting affair.

KR Reykjavik V Celtic Betting

Unsurprisingly, the SPL club enter this one as overwhelming favourites and are priced 4/11 with bookmaker Bet365. Meanwhile if you fancy the Icelandic side to spoil Deila’s party then they can be backed at 11/2. The draw is available at 10/3.

The Hoops have never been particularly strong travellers in Europe, but that should not prevent them from installing a first-leg advantage here. However, the main focus will be to bring back a healthy lead rather than kill the tie in 90 minutes and we are selecting our bets accordingly.

We’re not that confident in Celtic getting a rout so will refrain from touching the handicap lines. However, we do think the SPL champions will want to make a good first impression for their new boss and are backing them to start strongly.

[quote_box_center]HT/FT: Celtic/Celtic is 21/20 with Ladbrokes[/quote_box_center]

The other bet that stands out to us in this match is Kris Commons first goalscorer. The Scotland international was sensational last season and finished as Celtic, and the SPL’s, most prolific striker.

He additionally hit the final goal of the Neil Lennon era and we’re backing him to open the account in Deila’s. The manager has already expressed his desire to keep Commons in Glasgow and we’re expecting him to be an influential figure in 2014/15.

[quote_box_center]Kris Commons to score first is 15/4 with Bet365[/quote_box_center]

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