FC Copenhagen vs Celtic prediction: Copenhagen 1-2 Celtic
Can Celtic continue one of their most memorable European campaigns for many a year?
The Hoops topped a UEFA group for the very first time so have got a favourable draw in the round of 32.
FC København were also impressive in their group though so cannot be underestimated.
Celtic’s last visit to Parken Stadium was in 2006 and resulted in a 3-1 defeat.
That day, Neil Lennon started in midfield and it was during Ståle Solbakken’s first season at København.
He’s now back in charge in the Danish capital so can he down Celtic once again?
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FC Copenhagen vs Celtic: Who will win?
Hosts FC København are the underdogs to win this one at 2/1
Celtic meanwhile are 7/5 to leave Denmark with a lead.
A draw is 21/10.
Over 2.5 goals is 11/10.
Both teams to score is 5/6.
Celtic to win and both teams to score is 4/1.
Dame N’Doye is likely to lead the line for the home side. The Senegalese international is 5/1 to open the scoring and 21/10 to net anytime.
Pieros Sotiriou could also start. He is 11/1 to score first and 12/5 to score anytime.
Odsonne Édouard meanwhile has been on fire for Celtic. French Eddy is 4/1 to break the deadlock and 7/4 to score anytime.
Ryan Christie has 18 goals to his name this season. He is 6/1 to score first and 13/5 to add to his tally.
Both Sotiriou and N’Doye to score is 11/1.
Both Mohamed Daramy and Pep Biel to score is 30/1.
Both Édouard and James Forrest to score is 14/1.
Both Christopher Jullien Callum McGregor to score is 110/1.
FC Copenhagen vs Celtic: Match preview
Can FC København defeat Celtic?
They, just like their opponents, are the dominant force domestically having won 12 Superligaen titles since 2001.
That includes last season when they finished just one point above Midtjylland.
This season though, Midtjylland are currently leading the way with a seven point cushion over the champions.
This is partially because København were beaten 1-0 by Esbjerg on Friday night which was a major shock given they are currently second from bottom.
That was their first game since a 2-1 home win over Odense Boldklub on 16 December due to the prolonged winter break all Nordic countries have.
In Europe though, they’re having a brilliant season having made it to the knockout phase for just the sixth time.
Back in qualifying, they swept aside Welsh Champions in the New Saints before crashing out of the Champions League, losing a penalty shootout 7-6 to Crvena Zvezda.
They did then recover by beating Riga FC narrowly 3-0 on aggregate.
In the group stages, they were very much the draw specialists.
A 1-0 home win over Lugano on matchday one was followed by three successive 1-1 draws, across the bridge in Malmö and then home and away against Dynamo Kiev.
On matchday five, they then beat Lugano 1-0 again to qualify.
However, they missed out on top spot in a group for the very first time in the sixth and final game.
A late own goal from Sotirios Papagiannopoulos saw them lose 1-0 at home to Malmö with the Swedish side snatching first place.
Nevertheless, it’s still a great achievement for them to have progressed.
However, having just come off a ten week break, will that help or hinder their cause?
Only time will tell but, given Celtic’s home form in Europe, this first leg is must win for København.
Will Parken Stadium be bouncing and celebrating a famous victory?
Will Celtic leave with a lead?
As for Celtic, despite an early catastrophe, this has been one of the most memorable European campaigns for many a year.
Back on 13 August, they were humiliated by CFR Cluj, going down 4-3 to crash out in the Champions League third qualifying round.
For the second season running, they dropped into the Europa League play-off round but this time did smash AIK 6-1 on aggregate.
Then, despite being a pot two side, they were handed a very tough draw but negotiated it extremely well.
On matchday one, Ryan Christie’s penalty saw them draw 1-1 at Roazhon Park.
Then followed four successive wins, first getting revenge on Cluj with a 2-0 win.
Matchday three and four against Coppa Italia winner Lazio no Celt will ever forget.
First, at Parkhead, Christopher Jullien’s towering 89th minute header saw them come from a goal down to win 2-1.
Then, Déjà vu at the Olimpico.
Once again, they came from a goal down to win 2-1 only this time Olivier Ntcham’s winner was in the 95th minute.
Rome. Conquered. Celtic through with two to spare.
Late November’s 3-1 home win over Rennes ensured they topped a group for the very first time at the 16th attempt.
That was just as well as Group E runners-up Cluj were drawn against five-time winner Sevilla.
Although, in their current form, Celtic will fancy their chances against anybody.
On Sunday, Kristoffer Ajer scored a late winner at Pittodrie as Celtic left with a 2-1 victory over Aberdeen.
That kept up their 100% record in 2020, scoring 29 goals in those nine league and cup matches.
In the Premiership table, the Hoops are ten points clear of Rangers.
But it’s European glory Celtic fans crave.
Will they win a knockout stage tie for the first time since beating Barcelona in March 2004?
FC Copenhagen team news vs Celtic
Having only played once since 16 December, Ståle Solbakken’s side can’t complain about fatigue.
However, after a shock defeat six days ago, it’ll be interesting to see if he makes changes.
Karl-Johan Johnsson will continue in goal, looking to add to his eight clean sheets in 23 appearances this season.
In defence, Sotirios Papagiannopoulos and Andreas Bjelland are likely to keep their places at centre-back.
Although, Ragnar Sigurðsson, who joined on 12 January from Rostov, could make his debut for the club.
At full-back, Guillermo Varela and Pierre Bengtsson started at the weekend and are both likely to keep their places over Karlo Bartolec and Bryan Oviedo respectively.
Ahead of them will be a conventional midfield four in which Jens Stage and captain Zeca are very much the first choice duo.
They’ve made 31 and 34 appearances respectively this season.
Out-wide, Mohamed Daramy could keep his place on the left but, on the other side, Pep Biel is expected to displace Rasmus Falk.
Robert Mudražija and Viktor Fischer are injured.
Up front, they do have options.
Senegalese international Dame N’Doye will keep his place having scored nine in 17 this season.
However, he could have a new partner with Pieros Sotiriou returning to the XI.
Michael Santos would drop to the bench where he’ll find Mikkel Kaufmann.
Jonas Wind won’t return until late March following knee surgery.
Will this side defeat Celtic?
Celtic team news vs FC Copenhagen
As for Celtic, Neil Lennon has a big tactical decision to make.
For the first four games of the group stages, he played almost the exact same XI in a 4-2-3-1.
However, in eight of the nine games since the winter break, they’ve lined up in a 3-5-2.
It will be fascinating to see what he does but, away from home in a big European tie, a back four seems the more likely choice.
Whatever happens, Fraser Forster will be in goal; he’s been immense this season keeping 15 clean sheets in 33 games.
In defence, the likelihood of a back four has been increased by Jeremie Frimpong’s return to fitness.
If he does play, this would be his first appearance since Rugby Park on 22 January.
On the other side, Greg Taylor went off injured on Sunday so, with Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo also out, Jonny Hayes will fill in, as he often does admirably.
Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien will start at centre-back; Nir Bitton will drop out from Sunday and Jozo Šimunović is a doubt anyway.
In midfield, no matter the system, Lennon faces a tough conundrum.
Captain Scott Brown and Callum McGregor will sit in front of the defence.
Also, Olivier Ntcham’s form, having scored three goals in 2020, means he is undroppable.
So, the perviously undroppable Ryan Christie could be on the bench once again despite having scored 18 goals this season.
James Forrest will start on the right with Mohamed Elyounoussi, who was brilliant before his injury, starting for just the second time since 10 November.
Up top, Leigh Griffiths has been starting in a 3-5-2 but will miss out here.
Odsonne Édouard, who’s now on 23 goals for the season, will be the man to lead the line as always.
Will Celtic have a lead ahead of the second leg in Glasgow?
Predicted FC Copenhagen line-up vs Celtic
Predicted Celtic line-up vs FC Copenhagen
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All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
Denmark Superligaen table:
Scottish Premiership table:
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