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FC Midtjylland v Celtic (Preview)

Wednesday sees the 2nd leg of our Champions League Second Qualifying Round Tie versus FC Midtjylland of Denmark. Winning the tie will guarantee us Europa League Group Stage football as a minimum.

This chart highlights the different routes this year now that we have the European Conference League as well.

Our route is the 2nd column (amber) which is the Champions League Non-Champions route.

If we lose this tie we have 2 Europa League qualifiers or 1 Europa League and 1 Conference League qualifier.

If we win this tie we are guaranteed Europa League Group Stages.

FC Midtjylland were 2nd in the Danish Superliga last year losing out to Brondby by 2 points. They qualified for last year's Champions League Group Stages by beating Ludogorets, Young Boys and Slavia Prague. But they then only got 2 points in the Group Stages in a group with Ajax, Atalanta and Liverpool.

As in the first leg they usually play a 4-3-3 but similar to us they are going through some change with players leaving, players refusing to play and they also have a

new Manager who was appointed at the start of last month.

If they go for their preferred 4-3-3 then Mabil may come in for Dreyer (who will be suspended) and they may line up like this. % figures shown are % of minutes played last season. 7 out of the top 11 for % playing time are not likely starters on Wednesday.

Evander is their main danger man and playmaker and he was rated MotM in the first leg by Fotmob with a rating of 8.4.

Midtjylland and they may try something different. At the weekend they are reported as playing a 5-3-2 v Aalborg.

Typically for them they didn't have a lot of possession (39%) but did have 2.29 xG with only 0.33 xGA. (Brumado with 1.1 xG). And they won the game 1-0.

Figures next to players are the amount of accurate passes each player had. In total the team had 240 accurate passes (78%). Against us they had 217 and 73%.

In the first leg they went to 4-4-1 after being reduced to 10 men.

We are likely to line up with the same starting line up as the first tie with the exception of Murray for Bitton. Personally my preference would be for Edouard to start wide left and Ajeti in the middle but I can't see that happening. I'm not confident in Edouard scoring against a packed and organised defence. He needs space to run into as he's not the type of player to challenge heavily or win headers etc. As I mentioned in my West Ham review Edouard only scored 5 non penalty goals last year that gave us a lead in a match.

Last week I mentioned we had a probability of 30.7% of winning this 2nd leg and that went even shorter to 29.2%. I did say at the time I believed we had a better % chance than that of winning. As we sit today our probability is now 31.6% with Midtjylland sitting at a 39.8% chance of winning.

We need to be patient on Wednesday and keep the back door closed with a lot less risk taking than we have been. Then hope for a goal from the edge of the box from McGregor, Turnbull or Christie.

My prediction is 1-0 to Celtic with Turnbull (because Evander doesn't track back) to score the goal in 32mins. Then a very nervy 2nd half watching from behind the couch. You can get 16/1 for Celtic to win 1-0 and be leading 1-0 at half time and you can get 9/1 for Turnbull to score first.

Celtic Trends 🍀📈⚽️

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