Real Madrid visit Celtic in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere at Celtic Park for their first Champions League group stage match since 2017/18. Celtic have had a perfect start to their league campaign so far, winning all 6 matches and scoring 25 goals. Postecoglou has shown he is a top manager and is quickly becoming a Celtic legend with the way Celtic are getting results, just look at their 4-0 win against Rangers at the weekend. Celtic captain Callum McGregor said before the draw was made that he wanted to play Real Madrid and that wish was granted, it doesn’t need to be said that Celtic will be well up for this match.
Real Madrid and the Champions League go together like bread and butter. The most successful team in the competition’s history, Madrid are back to defend their crown last year after one of the most thrilling runs in Champions League history last season. Karim Benzema will once again be the main man but look out for Camavinga and Tchouameni who are prominent players at the club this season. Real Madrid have also had a perfect start to their season in the league although they are yet to keep a clean sheet. Real Madrid always show up in the Champions League and at a raucous Celtic Park, this has all the signs of a great match.
Celtic v Real Madrid Bet Builder Tips
Real Madrid to Win
Celtic have been dominant in league matches so far this season. 25 goals in 6 league games and a 4-0 win against Rangers in their last match is a dream start and conceding just 1 goal so far will be the icing on the cake for them. However, they are playing arguably the best team in Europe in this match and this will be a real test. Postecoglou had his first taste of management in European competition last season and Celtic did not live up to expectations. They lost away to Real Betis and only scraped a win against them at home, they were also comprehensively beaten 4-0 by Bayer Leverkusen at home in that group. Celtic will have to perform far better than that this year to give themselves a chance of even getting the third place spot that will demote them to the Europa League. Celtic have certainly improved since last season, however I am not confident that the improvements will be enough for them to compete with Real Madrid for a result.
Real Madrid have shown that same unbeatable spirit in the league that won them the Champions League last year, in their first match of the season they went 1-0 down to Almeria after just 6 minutes and came back to win 2-1. Real Madrid beat Betis 2.6-0.5 on xG and 2-1 by score line in their last match, and Celtic struggled against this same team in the Europa League last season. Even with the improvements Celtic have made I don’t see them being able to stop Real Madrid from winning this match. Real Madrid have suffered shocks in group stages of the tournament in recent years however Ancelotti has talked of the challenge of the match and will not allow for any complacency this time, therefore Real Madrid should win in this match.
Both Teams to Score
Real Madrid have been weak away from home so far this season. They have conceded an average of 1.72 xG in away league matches and have conceded in every league match they have played so far this season. There is no doubt of Real Madrid’s attacking talent and as already mentioned they should be considered favourites for the match, so will be expected to score plenty of goals. However good they are expected to be when attacking, Real Madrid’s open defence will give hope to Celtic that they can find a goal against the Los Blancos.
Celtic have been so strong attacking this year, creating an average of 2.91 xG per 90 so far this season and scoring over 4 goals per game on average. Celtic are good in all sorts of scenarios when attacking. They are strong from set pieces, can play the ball wide and get crosses in, play in behind the opposition or play through the middle. Their attacking play will cause issues for this Real Madrid defence that has had 3 different centre back combinations in 4 league matches.
Real Madrid are still not at their best defensively and Celtic will want to attack and will be buoyed on by the Celtic Park atmosphere, so I am backing both teams to score in this match.
Karim Benzema to Score Anytime
Karim Benzema is pure class, he is the joint third highest scorer in Champions League history and scored a huge 15 goals in last season’s campaign. He hasn’t slowed down this season either, he has scored 3 goals from 4.2xG in his first 4 matches of the season. Benzema has a multitude of ways that he can score, one of these is balls in the air. Even when not using his head, he is very strong from crosses due to his superb movement, his only open play goal this year was directly from a cross and who can forget his stupendous volley in the second leg against Manchester City last season.
His 2 other goals this season have been from a penalty and a direct free-kick and 7 of his goals last season in the league were from penalties as well as 3 in the Champions League so is also dangerous from dead ball situations. Benzema is an all-round threat and still Real Madrid’s main man, if Real Madrid are to score several goals as I expect, he should be able to grab one for himself.
Jota to have 1+ Shots on Target
Real Madrid have rotated between Kroos, Modric and Camavinga in their midfield 3 alongside Tchouameni this season and it is hard to know which two of these three will be selected for this match. However, one of Real Madrid’s biggest weaknesses this season has been when both these two midfielders have pushed up leaving Tchouameni isolated. Jota loves floating inside from the left wing into that position and I see him finding a lot of space in this game for Celtic. He has averaged 1.44 shots on target per 90 so far this season for Celtic and around 35% of his last 75 shots have been from outside the box. He is not afraid to shoot from range in a game where Celtic opportunities may be more limited. This is the main area in which I see him threatening Real Madrid however he is also strong running in behind which Celtic are very good at creating chances from.
Because of the role Jota plays, I see him as the most likely Celtic player to register a shot on target in this match and odds of around evens are pretty good for this.
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Celtic predicted XI (4-3-3) : Hart; Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Jenz, Taylor; O’Riley, McGregor, Hatate; Abada, Giakoumakis, Jota
Real Madrid predicted XI (4-3-3) : Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
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How to watch Celtic v Real Madrid in the Champions League?
📅 When is Celtic v Real Madrid? / Tuesday, 6th September 2022, 20:00
🏟 Where is Celtic v Real Madrid? / Celtic Park (Glasgow)
📺 What TV channel is Celtic v Real Madrid on? / BT Sport 3
🟨 …And who is the referee for Celtic v Real Madrid? / S. Scharer 🇨🇭