Soccer Picks: Celtic vs. Juventus in Champions League

Steven Suarez

Monday, February 11, 2013 7:31 PM GMT

With Champions League action resuming this week, let's take a look at the matchup between Celtic and Juventus. Let our Champions League tips and predictions help you find the value in this week's matchup.

Can this magical European run continue for Celtic? The Hoops will entertain Italian giants Juventus in the first leg on Tuesday, and we've got our Champions League tips and predictions locked in for this extravaganza at Celtic Park.

Odds Overview

Despite being at home, the soccer odds list the Celtic side as the 18/5 underdogs to win this first leg. As for the Italians, they can be backed at 4/5 to get the job done and head back to Italy with a foot in the door.

Never count out a draw either, which is quoted at 13/5 to come through.

[gameodds]8/218280/43/us[/gameodds]

Celtic

What a joy it's been to watch the Hoops make it this far. They had to fight their way through the qualifying rounds and then pulled off some stunning results in the group stages.

Things weren't looking too good after Celtic had failed to win any of their first three matches in the group, but then the magic took over. The Hoops beat world soccer giants Barcelona 2-1 at Celtic Park in one of the biggest shocks in history. 

The Hoops then went on to beat Spartak Moscow in the final fixture to earn themselves a right to play in the knockout stages. They've been draw with an extremely quality side in Juventus, but we've already seen what they're capable of against the world's best.

It also helps that Celtic has been dominating the league, which in turn should give them confidence going in.

Right now the Hoops are 18 points clear in the top spot of the Scottish Premier League – they have 17 wins, four draws and four losses in 25 league fixtures, while logging a remarkable goal differential of plus-37.

Also in first place in their respective league standings is Juventus. The Old Lady are five points clear of second-place Napoli, having lost only three of their 24 Serie A fixtures heading into Tuesday.

Juventus

The Italians had to settle for three draws during the group stages, but they also didn't lose a game. They tied Chelsea 2-2 at Stamford Bridge and then dominated the Blues 3-0 at home. They also overcame the likes of FC Nordsjaelland (4-0) and Shakhtar Donetsk (1-0), the other team to get through to the round of 16.

The thing about Juventus is they're getting goals from a number of different sources.

Fabio Quagliarella leads the side with seven league goals, while Mirko Vucinic, Allessandro Matri and Sebastian Giovinco have all scored six times. Then you can't forget about Andrea Pirlo or Arturo Vidal, who have five Serie A goals to their names thus far. Nicolas Anelka has also recently joined the team on loan.

This Juventus defense is hard to break down as well. With Gianluigi Buffon's help in organizing back, the team has only given up 16 goals in the league, at least five fewer than any other team.

Champions League Pick

No doubt the Italians have far more quality within their ranks, but Celtic's improbable run has been fueled by emotion, pride and hard work, and there will be no shortage of that in display in Glasglow.

These Scottish teams is they like to make life difficult on you. Even if they don't boss possession, the Hoops are going to play physically and try to disrupt Juventus' rhythm.

Thing is, the Old Lady have been the best defensive team in Serie A this season by a long mile, and they've only allowed eight goals in 11 away matches. Juventus should be able to hold Celtic at bay and avoid any costly mistakes, even in the face of a rowdy crowd.

With that said, we have to say this price of the Italians is looking good. It's been a pleasure to watch the Hoops get this far, but even at home this first leg tie will be as tough as it gets. 

Pick: Celtic 0 Juventus 2