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UEFA Champions League Betting Pick & Preview: Feyenoord vs. Celtic

September 19, 2023

On Tuesday night, Dutch champions Feyenoord and their Scottish counterparts Celtic will get their Champions League campaigns up and running with a tasty meeting at De Kuip in Rotterdam.

Both sides were drawn in Group E of the Champions League alongside Atletico Madrid and Lazio. 

Feyenoord Betting Preview (-167 at BetOnline)

Feyenoord are on the eve of their first Champions League evening since December 2017, when the Dutch side claimed a 2-1 home win over Napoli. It ended their 12-game losing streak in the competition and the Dutch champions are now bidding to claim back-to-back group stage victories for the first time since 1999-00.

Having won the Rinus Michels Award in back-to-back years, there were huge expectations that Arne Slot would leave Rotterdam to join Premier League side Tottenham in the summer. However, Slot eventually remained in charge of the Dutch giants. 

He succeeded Dick Advocaat in the summer of 2021 and successfully reshaped the squad en route to their first Eredivisie title since 2016–17. Slot celebrated his 45th birthday on Sunday (September 17th) and his players served him a great gift when Feyenoord beat Heerenveen 6-1 in the Eredivisie on Saturday. 

Feyenoord kicked-off the new season with a 1-0 defeat to PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Super Cup game early in August but have been unbeaten since. 

Yet, Arne Slot's side started the new Eredivisie campaign with disappointing back-to-back draws against Fortuna Sittard (0-0) and Sparta Rotterdam (2-2) but then won three on the bounce. 

Remarkably, Feyenoord have scored 17 goals in their last three Eredivisie matches, scoring either five or six goals in victories against Almere City, Utrecht and Heerenveen. 

Santiago Giménez scored 23 goals in 45 appearances across all competitions last season and the Mexican forward started the new campaign on a high, having scored six goals in five Eredivisie matches. 

The Rotterdam outfit have added Japanese forward Ayase Ueda as well as the likes of Calvin Stengs, Croatian winger Luka Ivanusec and Algerian midfielder Ramiz Zerrouki have all bolstered Feyenoord over the summer.

However, Feyenoord must deal without their Mexican forward, who is suspended after he picked up a two-match ban for a red card in the Europa League quarter-final second leg with AS Roma last season, while Ayase Ueda picked up an injury while on international duty with Japan. 

Their absence is a huge blow for the Eredivisie side so Igor Paixão could lead the line with Luka Ivanusec, Calvin Stengs and Yankuba Minteh in the trio behind him. 

Elsewhere, Netherlands goalkeeper Justin Bijlow is also sidelined for the foreseeable future with a broken wrist so Timon Wellenreuther should once again start between the sticks.  

Calvin Stengs already boasts one goal and four assists in five Eredivisie matches and the 24-year-old hopes to revive his career in the Netherlands after several unsuccessful attempts abroad.  

Turkish midfielder Orkun Kökcü left the Dutch champions to join their Portuguese counterparts Benfica, while Danilo's transfer to Scottish giants Rangers was another notable departure. The latter was Feyenoord's second best goalscorer last season but opted for a move.

Celtic Betting Preview (+455 at BetOnline)

Having won the Scottish Championship for the 53rd time. The Hoops have also secured a record eighth Treble, winning both the Scottish Cup and the League Cup under Ange Postecoglou. 

However, Postecoglou himself was tempted to do what the current Feyenoord boss failed for some reason (reports suggest that Spurs refused to pay his release clause) and left Glasgow for Tottenham Hotspur. 

As a result, Brendan Rodgers returned to Celtic Park for a second spell, having already led the Scottish giants between May 2016 and February 2019. 

Unbeaten in five Scottish Premiership this season (winning four of them), Celtic hit some good form at home to Dundee last weekend, winning by a 3-0 scoreline to remain at the top of the table. It was a strong showing to back up the Old Firm success last time out and The Bhoys will now take confidence into the midweek trip to Rotterdam.

Meanwhile, Celtic suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup second round last month as The Hoops won't be able to defend their domestic treble. 

Kyogo Furuhashi scored 34 goals across all competitions last term and the Japanese forward picked up where he left off. Furuhashi already scored four goals in five league appearances this season, also netting the winner in the 1-0 win at arch rivals Rangers earlier this month. 

Elsewhere, another Samurai Blue Reo Hatate shows he’s ready to go as the Japanese midfielder is only just coming back from an injury layoff but he should be fine to feature against Feyenoord, at least at some point of the game. 

Hatate came into the match against Dundee for David Turnbull and the Celtic performance notably improved. His vision, energy and passing were demonstrated as Brendan Rodgers will need him at his best against Feyenoord on Tuesday night.

Brendan Rodgers remains without injured pair Cameron Carter-Vickers and Marco Tilio, though the duo are close to returning.

The clash against Dundee was a big day for Liverpool loanee Nat Phillips, Portuguese midfielder Paulo Bernardo and Honduran forward Luis Palma, all of whom made their debuts for the Glasgow outfit at the weekend. 

Phillips was actually named in the starting XI and didn’t have the best of opening periods before being substituted at the break. It’s unclear whether or not he has picked up an injury or fitness issue.

Matt O'Riley is another standout performer for Celtic this term, as the midfielder scored three goals (as much as he did throughout 2022-23) and two assists in five top-flight appearances. 

Possible Starting Lineups of Feyenoord and Celtic 

Feyenoord: Timon Wellenreuther - Lutsharel Geertruida, Gernot Trauner, David Hancko, Quilindschy Hartman - Mats Wieffer, Quinten Timber - Yankuba Minteh, Calvin Stengs, Luka Ivanusec - Igor Paixão. (4-2-3-1) 

Celtic: Joe Hart - Greg Taylor, Liam Scales, Gustaf Lagerbielke, Alistair Johnston - David Turnbull, Callum McGregor, Matt O'Riley - Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi, Liel Abada. (4-3-3) 

Spooky Express Betting Prediction 

So Feyenoord have their issues up front and their boss doesn’t exactly sound too enthused about the players that could be named as an alternative. However, they have been really prolific in the last few domestic league games and the Dutch side should be capable of scoring anyway. 

Celtic, on the other hand, have kept three consecutive clean sheets after their League Cup fiasco and will be looking to continue against Feyenoord. Yet, the Bhoys have conceded in their last five Champions League away games and are also winless in them, but they have also scored in their last eight on the road. 

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 2½, 3 (2.75) Goals -120 at BetOnline for 7/10 Units