Europa League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions for Celtic vs. Lille (Thursday, Dec. 10)
Denis Charlet/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Lille standout Jonathan David.
- There is plenty on the line in Europa League action Thursday when Celtic hosts Lille in Glasgow.
- The French visitor has everything to play for in this match, with a victory giving it first place in Group H of the competition.
- Jeremy Pond breaks things down and tells us why he likes Lille to triumph.
Celtic vs. Lille Odds
|Celtic Odds||+220 [BET NOW]|
|Lille Odds||+115 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+260 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-175/+138) [BET NOW]|
|Time||3 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS All Access | UniMás|
Clubs with very different Europa League futures battle on the pitch Thursday when Celtic hosts Lille in their Group H finale in Glasgow.
The host side has nothing but pride to play for in the competition, already eliminated after earning just one point through its first five fixtures.
In contrast, the French visitor has plenty on the line in this showdown. Lille is just a point ahead of Italian power AC Milan, which faces Sparta Prague in the other group contest.
A victory would give Les Dogues first place in the group, regardless of the AC Milan-Sparta Prague result. However, any other outcome would leave things up in the air.
With that said, let’s take a look at this battle and what might be in store.
This really has been a tournament to forget for the storied Scottish club.
Celtic has one draw and four losses to show thus far, including blowout defeats to Sparta Prague (4-1) and AC Milan (4-2) in its last two outings in the European showcase.
And just how bad has it gone for the Bhoys? Really bad. They have conceded a tournament-high 17 goals thus far, which is one worse than Bulgarian club Ludogorets in Group J action.
When looking at the data and statistics, Celtic’s numbers really reflect how poorly it has played in this competition. The Bhoys have a subpar 5.5 expected goals and brutal 8.3 expected goals against, generating an even worse -2.8 xGDiff and -0.56 xGDiff/90 minutes.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Things could not be going any better for the Ligue One outfit, which is a win away from taking first in the group heading into the knockout round.
As you probably guessed, Les Dogues have stormed their way through the competition. They have gone unbeaten thus far, picking up three wins and two draws along the way. Lille snagged an all-important 2-1 win over Sparta Prague in its last Europa fixture, which put it in the group’s driver’s seat.
Most recently, Les Dogues received goals from Canadian international Jonathan David and Yusuf Yazıcı in their 2-1 home triumph over Monaco in league action at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
As for its numbers when matched against its Scottish foe, Lille dominates in all comparable categories. Les Dogues sit on a blistering 9.6 expected goals and paltry 3.2 expected goals against, resulting in a stellar +6.4 xGDiff and +1.27 xGDiff/90 minutes.
Normally, this would be a relatively difficult match to handicap. You have a Lille side looking to continue its torrid run across all competitions facing a host that’s winless in its last four outings.
On the bright side, though, the saving grace is the fact Les Dogues have so much to play for with AC Milan barking at their heels. Bottom line, they have to go after the win since finishing atop the group is the lone goal at the moment.
That said, I am backing Lille on the alternative line of -0.25 at -115 to bag all three points against its prideful opponent.
I will also play the total to stay under the alternative number 3.25 goals as well. Lille’s defense has been leaky as of late, conceding four goals in its last five games. However, this contest means everything to Les Dogues, so I anticipate a strong effort in their defensive third of the park en route to the victory.
Picks: Lille -0.25 (-115) | Total Under 3.25 Goals (-152)
- Bayer Leverkusen (-162) vs. Slavia Praha: These sides are tied atop Group C and have secured spots in the knockout round, with Slavia Praha holding the tiebreaker over its German host. I am backing Leverkusen to get the job done at BayArena and snag all three points in this evenly-matched fixture.
- Sparta Prague vs. AC Milan — Both Teams To Score (Yes/-152): This should be a back-and-forth battle between an Italian side hoping to finish top of Group H if Lille has a hiccup in Scotland. Sparta Prague has been eliminated, but I think it puts up a fight on home soil and turns this into a potential goal-fest.
- Leicester City -1.25 (-137) vs. AEK Athens: The Premier League outfit, which is tied for first place in Group G where it currently holds the tiebreaker edge over Braga, should roll over its Greek counterpart. The only question is by how many goals. My forecast? The Foxes roll the victory to close out group play.