Preview and Prediction
The Bhoys had quite a notable history in Champions Cup (the old version of Champions League). They once won it back in 1967 but lost in 1970 final. Yet, that was the past. Now, they are nothing but a mediocre team among the elites. The last time they managed to qualify to the UCL group stage was in 2017/18 season. This year, Celtic will attempt to end such negative trend. This week will be their second step to go through as they are taking on the Hungarian Ferencvaros. It should be quite easy on the paper. However, none can tell the true score on the pitch.
Both teams’ latest news
Celtic has made quite a change in their current squad. They have terminated the contract of their senior goalie, Craig Gordon and the midfielder Jonny Hayes. Moreover, they sold Eboue Kouassi to Genk and let Jack Hendry, Vakoun Issouf Bayo and Maryan Shved move on loan to Oostende, Toulouse and KV Mechelen. As their replacement, the Scottish side made two important signings, AEK Athens goalie, Vasilios Barkas and West Ham forward, Albian Aljeti.
Meanwhile, Sergiy Rebrov’s men sold the Italian striker Davide Lanzafame to Honved, sent their four youngsters on loan to Soroksar. Ferencvaros also signed a lot of new faces such as Shaktar winger, Olexander Zubkov, Roko Baturina, Myto Uzuni, Aissa Laidouni, Adnan Kovacevic and even the former Liverpool reserve goalie, Adam Bogdan from Hibernian. It is apart of Rebrov’s attempt to improve their form this season, especially in Europe.
Neil Lennon often opts for 4-2-3-1 formation with possibly the Swiss international Albian Aljeti picked as the main forward, supported by Ryan Christie and the Norwegian winger Muhammed Elyanoussi on both flanks, plus Olivier Ntcham, James Forrest and Callum McGregor in the midfield.
The former Dynamo Kiev and Tottenham forward back in early 2000s, Sergiy Rebrov tends to employ the same formation as his opponent. The Ivorian striker Franck Boli might be the main frontman while the Norwegian Tokmac Chol Nguen is the number-ten man, while Myrto Uzuni and Oleksandr Zubkov or the Brazilian Isael are playing wide.
Players to watch
The former West Ham man who failed to impress The Hammers fans last season, Albien Aljeti might find a chance to shine here with Celtic. He has scored one in the Premiership, which should indicate that he is ready for their main starting IX. Another notable one to watch is the French forward Odsonne Edouard.
Meanwhile, the Hungarian champion has Tokmac Chol Nguen and Ukrainian duo Ihor Karatin and Olexander Zubkov as the key figures of the team. Another vital name in the squad is Frank Boli.
In this single-leg fixture, there is no room for making mistakes. Thus, both sides are likely to be involved in a tight battle, especially in the midfield. The Scottish champions might have better experience here. Yet, they shall not look down on Sergiy Rebrov’s men, who can still potentially stun them before the final whistle.
Considering their reputation, Scott Brown and Co are clearly the favourite in this game. They are backed to win at 1.45. The draw result is at the value of 4.35, whereas the Hungarian side’s win market is only at 6.30.