Bayer Leverkusen v Celtic
Thursday 25 Noverber, 17:45 kick-off
Live on BT Sport 3
We bring the curtain down on our week of Game of the Day features by taking in Celtic’s vital Europa League trip to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen.
The German side hammered the Bhoys 4-0 in the return fixture, in what was Celtic’s heaviest ever home defeat in the competition, so there’s a sense of revenge in the air for Ange Postecoglou – who insists his side are better equipped now than they were in September.
Gerardo Seoane’s Leverkusen sit in the fourth and final Champions League spot in the Bundesliga, and are the unbeaten leaders of this group who can confirm top spot with a fourth win in five.
Rangers are making headlines with Steven Gerrard’s departure but a victory in Germany as sizeable underdogs would be a huge statement for the green half of the Old Firm as they look to get back on top in Scotland.
Amine Adli vs Celtic
What will happen this time? #UEL pic.twitter.com/GWQtHH5ufG
? UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) November 23, 2021
For the final time let’s dive in to our Game of the Day by looking at both teams, some stats and trends to follow, betting advice and our special enhanced goal-scorer double from our friends on the trading floor – who are being especially generous as they celebrate Betfair’s Daily Double rewards week.
Lively Leverkusen having a wobble
Bayer were clinical at Celtic Park in that 4-0 victory, but since then they’ve won just two of their following nine games, with one being a 4-0 Europa League win at home to Real Betis.
That win increased Leverkusen’s impressive unbeaten group stage home record in this competition to 11 matches, with four of the last five of those seeing them win by three goals or more.
And although they ran out comfortable winners in Glasgow, keeper Lucas Hradecky had a great game as Celtic had more than enough chances to score – something which Ferencvaros managed at the Bay Arena.
Talented teenager Florian Wirtz is one of the most highly-rated playmakers around Europe – he scored at Celtic and will be a big danger again in the home game.
Bayer will hope Czech striker Patrik Schick can return from injury after missing the last five games, as he’s still the club’s top-scorer with eight goals in nine Bundesliga games. He’s a big doubt but if he can play he could make a huge difference.
And watch out for young French winger Moussa Diaby, who had a stunning game against Betis last time out in this competition when scoring two and assisting the other two goals – more of that form will present a massive threat to Celtic.
Battling Bhoys bring goal threat
Celtic are assured of a Europa Conference League spot already after two wins over Ferencvaros, but they can give themselves a huge chance of progressing in this competition with a first Europa League victory in Germany in seven games (D1 L6).
But in contrast to Leverkusen’s form, Celtic are unbeaten since that 4-0 defeat with eight wins out of nine – including booking their place in the Scottish League Cup final – seeing Postecoglou’s side in fine form and high spirits heading to Germany.
And there’s still positives they can take from the first game, as they forced the issue and had plenty of chances, while they’ve already shown they can score plenty away from home in their tournament having bagged three in both their other away games.
Kyogo Furuhashi also likes an away game as he’s scored in Celtic’s last three, with all three of them coming in the first half, and with the Bhoys also top scorers in Scotland they’ll bring a big goal threat with them on this journey.
The stats gurus tell us that Celtic win the ball back more often in their opponents final third than any other team in the competition this season, and they’ll look to press high, hard and early again to unsettle Bayer. We could be in for quite a game.
Stats and best bets
We’ve got an almost certain guarantee of goals here!
Only one team has scored more than Leverkusen’s 11 (Lyon, 12) in the Europa League, while no team has let in more than Celtic (10) and nobody’s games have had more goals in them in the competition the Celtic’s this season (18).
After losing 4-3 and winning 3-2 in their other two away games in the group, Celtic’s Europa League trips have been eventful to say the least, so backing over 3.5 goals at 2.47/5 is the move as Celtic need to go all-out for victory.
That desire should see Celtic score despite Leverkusen keeping clean sheets in their last two home games, as they had 17 goal attempts in the first game so had no problems carving out chances, they were just not clinical enough.
And Celtic are 6.05/1 outsiders for a reason though, so Bayer should still be expected to win but coupling it with both teams to score at 2.77/4 would be favoured when picking out the outright match markets.
Player-wise, Furuhashi’s recent record means that the OddsBoost of 9.08/1 on the SportsBook for him scoring first is a value play, while he’s a decent price of 3.211/5 just to score anytime.
The aforementioned Diaby was dominant against Betis and he’s 3.185/40 in the anytime goalscorer market as he’ll be a handful for Celtic going on his recent performances.
The two can also combine to give us a winning end to Betfair’s Daily Double rewards week as the traders have given us one last Game of the Day goal scorers boost by enhancing the price of Furuhashi and Diaby both to score here to 1110/1.