Celtic begin their quest to reach a first Champions League group stage appearance since 2017/18 when they face Midtjylland at Celtic Park on Tuesday evening (19:45 UK time).
This second qualifying round first-leg game will be new Hoops boss Ange Postecoglou’s first major test and the Wolves are no pushovers after reaching last season’s tournament.
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Where to watch Celtic vs Midtjylland on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: N/A
Scoreline prediction: Celtic 1-1 Midtjylland
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Celtic vs Midtjylland build-up & previous line-ups:
Having succeeded Neil Lennon this summer, Postecoglou needs to immediately hit the ground running as Celtic embark on their quest to once again play Champions League football. It’s been four years since they last qualified for world football’s most demanding club competition and in that period they’ve reached the Europa League knockout phase on two occasions. Since their last Champions League match The Bhoys have been dumped out at the third qualifying round twice and second qualifying round last season. Now, as Scottish Premiership runners-up, they enter via the ‘League Path’ but know there’s a daunting road ahead even if they do get past their skilled Danish opponents.
After some years attempting, Midtjylland finally broke through in 2020/21 by playing their first Champions League group stage campaign, and they couldn’t have asked for a more challenging group. Brian Priske’s men ultimately finished bottom with Ajax, Atalanta and Liverpool all ahead of them. The experience was rewarding and those remaining at the club want another go. Brøndby denied Midtjylland winning back-to-back Danish Superliga titles and third in four seasons. Priske lost his job and has since been replaced by former Kidderminster Harriers striker Bo Henriksen who began his managerial career in 2007 at Brønshøj the club where he ended his playing career.
- Celtic (vs Preston North End): Barkas; Ralston, Welsh, Urhoghide, Taylor; Shaw, McGregor; Moffat, Turnbull, Montgomery; Ajeti.
- Midtjylland (vs OB): Lössl; Dalsgaard, Sviatchenko, Høegh, Paulinho; Madsen, Onyedika, Evander; Dreyer, Júnior Brumado, Sisto.
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Player to watch: Odsonne Édouard (Celtic)
There’s no shortage of interest for Odsonne Édouard’s signature with Leicester City, managed by former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, the latest to reportedly enter the fray. Since joining from Paris Saint-Germain, initially on loan, he’s been relentless having bagged 83 goals in 168 appearances. When it comes to European competition (including qualifiers) the 23-year-old Frenchman has struck 15 times across 36 matches.
Club great Chris Sutton feels Edouard must follow Virgil van Dijk’s example. “Odsonne Edouard, for me, has to start on Tuesday night,” he said. “I know he may be on his way, but in previous seasons Van Dijk got Celtic through to the Champions League group stages, Edouard needs to do the same. He’s going to be off eventually, but you have to play him.”