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Jablonec vs Celtic Tips - Draw expected in Europa League qualifier

  • First leg of Europa League qualifier is scheduled at Stadion Strelnice on Thursday
  • Both teams are coming off losses
  • Celtic are winless in 6 matches
Celtic
Celtic take on Jablonec in the Europa League qualifiers. ( Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
Celtic take on Jablonec on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier.

The Glasgow club have not enjoyed the best start to their domestic or European campaigns. Ange Postecoglou’s men were knocked out of Champions League qualifying by Danish club Midtjylland last week.

That’s left them now trying to qualify for the Europa League for the 2021/22 season. Czech Republic side Jablonec now stand in their way of a place in the Europa League qualifying final against AZ Alkmaar.

Celtic’s domestic campaign also began in bitter disappointment. The Bhoys fell to a 2-1 defeat to Hearts in their season opener indicating this could be a tough season.

That loss was worsened by the fact that local rivals Rangers won their game so comfortably. With the form Steven Gerrard’s men are in, Celtic cannot afford to lose many points in the league this season. They’re off to the worst possible start.

It hasn’t been plain sailing for Jablonec so far this season either. The Czechs won their opening league fixture 1-0, but were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Mlada Boleslav on the weekend.

This is their first European tie of the season, having finished third in the Czech league last year. They’ll likely be happy to have the first leg at home and will fancy their chances of getting something out of this game.

This will be a tough game for the visitors and their recent form doesn’t really inspire much confidence. This will be tighter than the odds suggest.

Jablonec vs Celtic Predictions

 
  • Jablonec vs Celtic Predictions
  • Jablonec vs Celtic Head to Head
  • Jablonec Team News
  • Celtic Team News
  • Jablonec vs Celtic Betting Tips
It’s too soon to be talking about a crisis at Celtic, but the next few games could actually be season-defining. They’ve already lost ground on Rangers in the Scottish Premiership and a European campaign could be vital.

They didn’t start their European adventure very positively this season though. After going ahead in both legs against Midtjylland in the Champions League, they were pegged back both times.

In the second leg, with the scores at 2-2 on aggregate, the tie went to extra-time. A 94th minute strike from Raphael Onyedika was enough to see the Danes progress and Celtic end up here.

If the Glasgow club were to be knocked out of the Europa League in this tie, it wouldn’t bode well for manager Postecoglou.

Some sense of reality is needed by Celtic fans though. The club is currently going through a transitional period. For the first time in a decade, they’re being challenged by rivals Rangers for the league title.

They’re not having it all their own way, as they have done for the best part of a decade. Celtic fans will have to get used to that fact, but they will be expecting their team to win this tie.

Jablonec finished third in the Czech league last season, so they’re no pushovers. They’ve also won two of their last three games.

The hosts won’t make things easy for Celtic in this first leg, but the visitors should have enough quality to win. Whether their recent form is going to be to their detriment is yet to be seen.

Jablonec vs Celtic Head to Head


This is the first meeting between these two clubs, so there is no head to head record to guide us here.

Instead, we can look at the recent form of both teams. On the surface, it doesn’t make for very good reading for either side.

Celtic haven’t won any of their last five games, losing three and drawing two. They’ve also failed to win in any of the three competitive games they’ve played so far this season.

They were favourites to beat Hearts in their Scottish Premiership opener on the weekend. However, they found themselves falling to a 2-1 defeat. A result that we correctly predicted in our preview of the game.

Jablonec have only played two competitive games so far this season. They’ve won one and lost the other of those.

Of their three pre-season friendly fixtures, they won one, drew one and lost one. So there’s been a little bit of everything from the Czechs so far.

With neither side in exceptionally good form, this could be a very close game.

Jablonec Team News

 
Jablonec manager Petr Rada has gone with the exact same XI for both of his side’s competitive games this season.

There’s no reason to expect him to deviate from that. This will mean Jan Hanus will start the game in goal, with Stepanek, Martinec, Zeleny and Krob completing the back line.

Jakub Povazanec has started every game in defensive midfield for the hosts. The 30 year old is expected to occupy that position again for this game.

Milos Kratochvil and Vojtech Kubista will occupy the centre of midfield. Dominik Plestil and Tomas Malinsky will start the game on the wings.

Martin Dolezal will lead the line for the home side. The 31 year old scored nine goals in his final seven league games last season, so he clearly has an eye for goal.

Celtic Team News


Scott Bain is expected to start in goal for Celtic in this first leg tie. The 29 year old played the entire 120 minutes against Midtjylland and the full 90 against Hearts on the weekend.

Nir Bitton missed the second leg of the Champions League qualifier with the Danes, after being sent off in the first leg. He played 90 minutes on the weekend and will return to the starting line up here.

Carl Starfelt will partner Bitton in the heart of defence. Anthony Ralston will begin at right back, with Greg Taylor at left back.

Our Jablonec v Celtic predictions expect Ismaila Soro and Callum McGregor to begin the game in midfield.

Frenchman Odsonne Edouard will lead the line for the Celts, along with James Forrest and Liel Abada.

Jablonec vs Celtic Betting Tips


Despite having the better recent form, hosts Jablonec are the outsiders at 11/4 in our Jablonec v Celtic match bets.

The first leg of qualifying ties can be tight affairs, that was certainly the case Celtic last time. The draw is temptingly priced at 12/5.

Despite their awful start to the season, Celtic are the 20/21 favourites to win this game. That doesn’t look too tempting, given how much they’re struggling.

Celtic would take a draw here in this first leg, with the possibility of winning the tie at home. Jablonec may fancy their chances in this, but expect this to be a tight game.

Verdict

We expect this match to result in a draw.

Best Bet: Draw Match Result @240 at BetMGM - 1 Unit

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