Welcome to the very first installment of Back Page Tips. Over the course of the season I will be giving weekly, sometimes bi-weekly updates of where to stick that extra fiver in your pocket as you walk past your local bookmakers at 2.30 on a Saturday afternoon. I will of course give justification for my predictions and wont just list them off. Have faith in me and I’m sure we’ll have some fun over the next 9 months or so. But when you’re 9 up on your accumulator and Celtic lose at home to St. Mirren try and take it in good fun.
Having looked in depth at this weeks European Football fixtures, the biggest tie is of course Celtic away to Russia’s Dinamo Moscow. If history has taught us one thing that is that Celtic cannot win an away match in Europe and with them needing to score twice they have an almighty, snowy mountain to climb. However, Mowbray’s style of football may be suited to this kind of tie and Dinamo may well be in between two minds about how to play this one. It is these thoughts that lead me to to thinking Celtic wont lose on the night. I’m backing a 1-1 draw with Celtic to be winning at half-time. The odds are averaging out at 15/1 for this one.
Feeling patriotic? Later on in the week St. Patrick’s Athletic too travel to Russia to face Krylya Sovetov. Having held on for a famous 1-0 victory at Richmond Park last Thursday I would loveto see the Saints qualify for the next phase (albeit I’m a Rovers fan). Unfortunately the Russians showed me from the first leg that they will have too much for Jeff Kenna’s men on the night. The 0-0 draw is tempting at 11/1 should the Gods be kindly looking on the boys from Inchicore but if you really fancy putting money on a League of Ireland team this week then look no futher than the Brandywell. Derry City take on CSKA Sofia and trail 1-0 from the away leg in Sofia. I genuinely feel the Candystripes have enough to see off their Bulgarian counterparts, I watched them the weekend against Shamrock Rovers and they will be wondering how on earth they didn’t at least manage a point. The bookies average out at just under 17/1 for a 2-0 scoreline which would be enough to take Derry into the final qualifying round.
Dinamo and Celtic to draw 1-1 with Celtic leading at HT: 15/1
Derry City to beat CSKA Sofia 2-0: 17/1