Football tips: Celtic and Rangers combine for this 15/2 Europa League double

The Old Firm are in European action on Thursday.

Scott Brown Celtic Ryan Jack Rangers Europa League

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Celtic and Rangers continue their Europa League campaigns this week, with the two Scottish sides enjoying very different fortunes in this year’s competition.

The Hoops have a mountain to climb after two defeats and a draw while Rangers are sitting pretty at the top of their group, but there is value to be found combining bets from both their upcoming matches into a tempting double.

5.55pm: Sparta Prague v Celtic – Sparta Prague to win & over 2.5 goals

It may only be November, but Celtic’s season is already in serious danger of falling apart at the seams. Neil Lennon’s side are already 11 points off Rangers – albeit with two games in hand – while their Europa League campaign is almost certainly at an end after just three games.

Celtic have a slim chance of progressing to the knock-out stages and require a minor miracle if they are to overtake one of AC Milan or Lille; they would be better off abandoning their faint hopes and focusing on their league campaign if they are to have any chance of claiming a record tenth league title in-a-row.

With one eye on this weekend’s game with Ross County, Celtic may be found wanting in the Czech Republic on Thursday evening.

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Celtic Sparta Prague Europa League November 5, 2020

They were embarrassed at home by Sparta Prague just before the international break and failed to inspire in a 2-2 draw at Hibs last weekend.

There is little to suggest that they have improved defensively ahead of Thursday’s game and we could see goals in the Czech Republic based on both club’s records in the competition so far. Celtic have conceded nine goals in three games and have managed to find the back of the net in each of their three games so far.

Sparta Prague, meanwhile, have conceded eight in their three Europa League games and have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six, so Celtic should have a good chance of finding the back of the net themselves at least.

8pm: Rangers v Benfica – Rangers to win

Unlike their bitter rivals, Rangers have been absolutely phenomenal this season and look set to both ease through their Europa League group and finally end Celtic’s dominance in Scotland.

The only blemish in an otherwise perfect season so far was their 3-3 draw with Benfica before the international break. Steven Gerrard’s side were 3-1 up with 14 minutes remaining and had been playing against 10 men since the 19th minute, but somehow conspired to throw away what should have been a comfortable win. A win in Lisbon would have all but secured Rangers’ passage to the knockout stages, allowing Gerrard to focus even more seriously on the league.

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Steven Gerrard James Tavernier Rangers Lech Poznan October 29, 2020

However, they are still in excellent shape and a win on Thursday would propel them closer to the last 32 as group winners and it is hard to see them failing to win at Ibrox at present. Rangers have now played eight home league games this season, winning all of them without conceding a single goal.

They also recorded a 1-0 win over Lech Poznan in their only home game in the Europa League proper this season and have conceded just once at home all season – against Galatasaray in a 2-1 Europa League play-off win. Benfica are arguably a cut above anyone Rangers have entertained at Ibrox this season and may even breach their resolute defence, but it’s hard to back against Steven Gerrard’s men.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Old Firm Europa League tips

5.55pm: Sparta Prague v Celtic – Sparta Prague to win & over 2.5 goals
8pm: Rangers v Benfica – Rangers to win

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