Soccer Picks: Celtic vs Barcelona Betting Odds Preview

Steven Suarez

Sunday, September 29, 2013 6:37 PM GMT

Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013 6:37 PM GMT

Familiar with one another after last season's memorable Champions League battles, Barcelona and Celtic again meet up in the group stages. Here's our soccer pick for the encounter.

Don't forget to read our 2013-14 Champions League Betting Futures report!

Odds Overview

We all remember what happened the last time these sides met, but a similar result isn't expected in the eyes of odds makers. Soccer betting lines show Barcelona at -250 and Celtic at +800 to win on Tuesday. What might this game have in store for our soccer picks?

Goals are expected at Celtic Park but then again, this is Barcelona we're talking about. The Catalan giants can always put up a five spot on any given night, so that's why the O/U is at three goals instead of the normal typical two-and-a-half. 

Celtic

It's going to take something super special for Celtic to emerge out of their Champions League group and head into the knockout stages.

Just look at the participants alongside them in Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, and Ajax, three absolute giants in world soccer that have had unmeasured success in this competition over the years.

Celtic got a taste of what to expect in their group opener against Milan. The Scottish outfit had held the Italians to 0-0 draw, that is until there were 10 minutes remaining, when Sulley Muntari and then an Emilio Izaguirre own goal condemned the underdogs to a 2-0 defeat at the San Siro.

The Scots immediately came back to beat St Johnstone 2-1 at home, three days before a horrible showing in a 1-0 league loss to Greenock Morton at home.

However, Celtic again bounced back, this time destroying Kilmarnock 5-2 away from home. Georgios Samaras had a hat-trick and Kris Commons and Amido Balde also scored in what was the side's fourth successive Premier League win.

Barcelona

It hasn't seemed to matter who Barcelona's manager is: they just don't stop winning no matter who's patrolling the sideline.

Gerardo Martino has been very successful in the early goings, with Barcelona winning seven out of seven La Liga matches, while recording a goal differential of +19.

The Catalans easily scooted past Ajax 4-0 in their Champions League opener a couple weeks ago, and have since beaten Rayo Vallecano (4-0), Real Sociedad (4-1), and Almeria (2-0). Lionel Messi and Adriano scored the goals in the win over Almeria this past weekend.

However, it wasn't all good news for Martino's men. Messi picked up a thigh injury in the win and is set to miss two to three weeks.

Of course it's going to weaken your side when you lose the best player on the planet, but perhaps this is Neymar's chance to step up and take over the goalscoring duties. Don't forget about the likes of Pedro, Cesc Fabregas, Alexi Sanchez, Xavi, and Iniesta either, all of whom can put the ball in the back of the net.

Champions League Pick

Last year's two meetings both ended in 2-1 wins. Barcelona won 2-1 at the Nou Camp in a surprisingly tight affair, but then lost 2-1 two weeks later in one of the biggest upsets you'll ever see.

Messi has famously stated that Celtic Park has the best European atmosphere of any stadium he's played in, which is a huge compliment indeed.

But even without the world's greatest player out there, it's difficult to imagine Barcelona not getting the full three points out of this trip to Scotland. The Catalans know full well what can happen in this park and will want to avoid another historic upset.

There's sure to be another dizzying atmosphere inside Celtic Park, but we have to go with Barcelona to win with our sports pick here on Tuesday.

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Soccer Prediction: Celtic 0 - Barcelona 2

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