The road into the Champions League isn’t always an easy one and that is certainly the case for Rosenborg, who have drawn Scottish Champions Celtic in the 3rd qualifying-round of the tournament.
Celtic are one of the teams that most teams in the draw would have been hoping to avoid. Brendan Rodger’s side qualified for this stage with ease after brushing aside their Northern Irish opponents, Linfield.
Meanwhile, Rosenborg required extra-time against minnows, Dundalk, to get this far. After such a testing game in the last round, they would have been hoping for a far easier game here. Nonetheless, they have got Celtic so they will have to be on their best form to compete against last year’s winners of the Scottish Premier League.
As previously stated, Celtic got through this round with relative ease. They took a 2-0 win from the first-leg back to Celtic Park and then, they simply squatted Linfield with an attacking performance that was close to perfect.
They came into that game on the back of a season where they broke every record possible. They seem like a side that is just getting stronger and stronger and we would not be surprised to see them compete and even defeat some of Europe’s best teams this season.
The good times are back at Celtic and former Liverpool manager, Rodgers, has to take some credit for that. He is doing an excellent job and he has really captured the imagination of the Glasgow side.
Rosenborg went into their return leg against Dundalk with the expectation of an easy win. However, they really did struggle against the Irish side and their fanbase wouldn’t have been happy to see players such as Nicolas Bentner play so poorly against defenders who are used to playing against part-time players.
Although, the more quick-witted amongst you may be saying that Bentner is a bit of a part-time striker himself. Nontheless, the Norwegian side should have had enough to take down Dundalk in normal time, but they didn’t. Instead, they required extra-time and good deal of luck.
Celtic will go into this game without striker Leigh Griffiths, who is facing disciplinary action after Celtic’s win against Linfield. The player caused much of the Linfield support to be upset after tying a scarf to the opposition’s goal post. It is a strange thing to get a ban for, but it was a strange game.
Meanwhile, Rosenborg will be hoping that fatigue isn’t an issue after having to play 120 minutes in their game against Dundalk. “Will we be fresh?” is a very real consideration for the Norwegians.
We can only see this game going one way – Celtic are the better side, they are playing at home and Rosenborg have not impressed in Europe thus far this season. Celtic are 2/5 with Ladbrokes, but if you are looking for great value, there are more generous odds available in alternative markets.
For instance, Scott Sinclair scored in both of Celtic’s games this season. He was outstanding against Linfield and looked lively throughout. If you are searching for an excellent first goalscorer bet, then he is your man. You can back Sinclair to get the opener at a price of 3/1with Ladbrokes.