Champions League- we'll meet again?


Scott McDonald Celtic newsIt seems like a lifetime ago but in 2007 Celtic were preparing to face AC Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League.

After defeating Manchester United to qualify for the knock out stages for the first time there was an air of confidence if not expectation that Gordon Strachan’s side could win the home leg to take something to the San Siro.

As it turned out the goal-less draw at home was matched in the away leg before Kaka won the match for Milan in extra-time. The Italian’s went on to win the trophy defeating Liverpool 2-0 in the fnal.

Four years down the line Celtic are unrecognisable but as ever Milan are in at the sharp end of the Champions League and looking strong to take care of Spurs tonight.

A forward line of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Pato looks much stronger than Harry Redknapp can muster with Peter Crouch on 8 goals the top scoring Spurs striker this season.

Betting against British clubs in Europe always provides value and at 7/10 tonight the Serie A leaders look great value to win at home.

Milan will have watched closely both matches Spurs played against Inter Milan and know that they will be in for a hot reception at White Hart Lane.

For whatever reason Ibrahimovic doesn’t have much of a reputation in England but not many English strikers can list Inter Milan, Barcelona and AC Milan on their cv.

The giant Swede looks a bit skinny at 8/11 to score at anytime but putting on that bet alongside the more appealing 11/4 for the first goal looks like good value.

Champions League matches generate massive betting interest with tonight’s match in the San Siro followed tomorrow by Arsenal v Barcelona at the Emirates.

Bet 365 have a great range of bets covering all of the Champions League matches. Video Celts readers can open an account with bet365 by clicking here and get your opening deposit of upto £200 matched.

The big loss for Spurs tonight is the absence of Gareth Bale. The Welshman has made a big impact this season highlighted by a hat-trick against against Inter earlier in the Champions League.

Without Bale Spurs are likely to risk Rafael can der Vaart from the start which could backfire against a side as strong as Milan with bags of Champions League experience.

Football Fancast have got great coverage of the Champions League, reproduced below is their honest assessment of Spurs’ chances tonight.

[bet_365 type=’odds’ size=’300′ af_code=’365_061438′]


Spurs have visited the famous Italian stadium once already this season after being drawn in Group A with defending champions Inter Milan.

Harry Redknapp’s side found themselves 4-0 down after 35 minutes and also lost goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to a red card.

But the 10-man visitors nearly completed a remarkable comeback thanks to one of the performances of the season from Gareth Bale.

The Welsh left-sided player – nominally a full-back but increasingly deployed in attack this season by Redknapp – scored a hat-trick, tormenting Brazil international right-back Maicon.

Bale reprised his role in the return fixture at White Hart Lane, shredding the Inter defence to set up two goals in a 3-1 win for Spurs.

But the English Premier League side are likely to be without their most potent weapon for their second visit to Milan – Bale has missed Tottenham’s last four matches with a back injury.

Influential playmaker Luka Modric is also in serious doubt, meaning Rafael van der Vaart is expected to be risked, despite struggling with a calf problem.

Long-term defensive absentees Younis Kaboul and Ledley King remain sidelined, while holding midfielder Tom Huddlestone – another key component of Tottenham’s European line-up – is also out.

Even without a full strength line-up to choose from, experienced Champions League campaigners Milan are a demanding prospect.

Despite drawing two of their last four matches, they remain unbeaten in their last nine and top the Serie A table by three points.

While Spurs were forced to scramble for a 2-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday, a second-half brace from Brazil forward Robinho eased Milan to a confidence-boosting 4-0 win over Parma.

But Massimiliano Allegri’s side are not without problems of their own.

January arrivals Antonio Cassano, Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson are cup-tied, while key midfielders Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini are injured.

Alessandro Nesta may return in central defence for what will be both Redknapp and Allegri’s first taste of management in the latter stages of the competition.

Iain Brines in charge of Celtic v Rangers clash

Follow Video Celts on TwitterFacebook and YouTube

[bet_365 type=’generic’ size=’468′ af_code=’365_050711′]

Videocelts Extension Button

Share this article

Online and independent- the only way to be. Enjoying instant news access and reaction, following the trends if not an influencer!