Both sides go into this fixture on the back of some poor domestic performances. For Celtic, who will be competing in their 150th European Cup match tonight, they must better Benfica’s result away to Barcelona at the Nou Camp to progress into the Last 16 of the Champions League.
As for Spartak Moscow, they’ll basically be playing for pride. Sitting at the foot of the group, their points tally is so poor even if they do manage a win tonight at Celtic Park they’ll still be unable to even qualify for the Europa League safety net.
Domestic woes for both Celtic and Spartak!
Celtic have failed to win any of their home games since that astounding 2-1 victory over Barcelona just over 4 weeks ago.
A draw against St. Johnstone in the league was followed by defeat to Caley Thistle and their poor home form was once again compounded last week when they failed to dispatch 2nd Division side Arbroath in a 4th Round Scottish Cup tie.
Thankfully for Celtic their away form hasn’t suffered similar jitters with convincing wins over Aberdeen and Hearts to help them cling onto the top of the SPL by just 1 point from a chasing Hibernian.
Spartak Moscow haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders either and go into the Celtic match managerless after Unai Emeri was sacked after a 1-5 defeat at home to city rivals Dinamo Moscow. Spartak are winless in their last 3 Russian Premier League matches.
Pressure is all on Celtic to make the Last 16.
With Spartak having nothing to play for, a few big names might be rested, however as there is no pressure on the Russians it also makes them a very dangerous team to play given what is at stake for Celtic.
The Glasgow team are pre-match Celtic v Spartak Moscow betting favourites and you can get odds of 3/5 from Betfair that Celtic will win the match. Ladbrokes offer 3/1 that the tie will end in a draw and Coral have odds of 5/1 that Spartak will overcome Celtic and add a touch of self-respect to this Champions League campaign.
Gary Hooper is a best bet of 4/1 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock. His only Champions League goal so far this season was the opener against Spartak in Moscow back in early October.
A more likely bet would be for Georgios Samaras to open the scoring and you can get the big Greek at 11/2 with BWin. Tony Watt, the teenager who got the winner against Barcelona, is 6/1 with Coral to get the opener.
Spartak’s best odds of scoring belongs with Emmanuel Emenike, 9/1 with Bet365, who grabbed a double when the teams last met. Former Celtic player Aiden McGeady is 20/1 again with Bet365 to return to Celtic Park and find the net first.
Celtic are 8/15 with Betfred to qualify from Group G while Benfica require to take something from the Nou Camp and are 23/13 with Betfair to pip Celtic into the Champions League last 16.
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Celtic v Spartak Moscow Winner Betting Odds Last Updated: 05/12/2012 (Correct at time of writing)
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