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Celtic FC vs Zenit St Petersburg predictions, betting tips and preview: Rusty Russians could struggle in Glasgow

  • Celtic vs Zenit St Petersburg predictions for their Europa League match on Thursday
  • The Russians beat Rangers in the 2008 UEFA Cup Final
  • Read on for our free predictions and betting tips
Stuart Armstrong in Champions League action for Celtic (credit: Getty Images)

Celtic vs Zenit St Petersburg predictions for their Europa League round-of-32 first-leg match in Glasgow on Thursday. Zenit beat Celtic’s arch-rivals Rangers in the final of the equivalent competition 10 years ago. Read on for our free predictions and betting tips.


Rangers famously lost out on a European trophy to Zenit St Petersburg but their arch-rivals Celtic could have better luck when their continental campaign resumes in this round-of-32 tie.

It’s a decade since Rangers lost the UEFA Cup Final to Zenit at Manchester City’s home ground but now the city of Glasgow, albeit the ‘other side’, has the chance to take revenge on the Russians.

Zenit are favourites to advance and a much shorter price in the Europa League outright betting than Celtic, who can be backed at best odds of 100/1 with betway to lift the trophy in Lyon due to the greater-than-usual strength in depth of the teams contesting the knockout stage of this competition.

But Roberto Mancini’s side have not played competitively for over two months due to the winter shutdown of Russian football and it could be that Celtic will be sharper and more match-hardened than their opponents.

Stuart Armstrong in Champions League action for Celtic (Getty Images)
The clubs have taken different routes to this stage with the Scottish champions having finished third in their Champions League group, outclassed by Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich and thankful for a 3-0 win in Brussels which enabled them to finish ahead of Anderlecht.

Meanwhile, Zenit dropped points in only one of their Europa League group games when they drew 1-1 away to Rosenborg, but it was not a particularly difficult pool even by the standards of this competition and they currently trail leaders Lokomotiv Moscow by eight points in their domestic league.

It is a worry that Brendan Rodgers’ side lost all three Champions League group matches on their own pitch, but they have been unbeaten at Celtic Park domestically since December 2015 and the Hoops are fancied to give themselves every chance of qualification by winning this first leg.

Celtic vs Zenit St Petersburg stats


  • This is Celtic’s seventh match against Russian opposition in European competitions, all since 2007, with their record being three wins, two draws and one loss
  • At home to Russian teams, Celtic have won, drawn and lost
  • Zenit’s only previous match against a Scottish club was the 2008 UEFA Cup Final at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester in which they faced Rangers and won 2-0

Recommended bets


Celtic to qualify @ 6/4 with BetVictor
Celtic to win the first leg @ 7/4 with Betfair Sportsbook

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Celtic FC vs Zenit St Petersburg predictions, betting tips and preview: Rusty Russians could struggle in Glasgow

Celtic vs Zenit St Petersburg predictions for their Europa League round-of-32 first-leg match in Glasgow on Thursday. Zenit beat Celtic’s arch-rivals Rangers in the final of the equivalent competition 10 years ago. Read on for our free predictions and betting tips.

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