Celtic have already had a reprieve in the Europa League after seemingly being knocked out at the preliminary stage by FC Sion. It later transpired that the Swiss club have contravened the UEFA rules and the Scottish champions have been toiling away in Group I as a result.
The Hoops are struggling domestically as well as continentally at the moment, with a 0-0 draw with Hibernian the latest poor result in the SPL which actually leaves them sitting third behind Motherwell in the league.
Neil Lennon needs to turn things round quickly at Celtic Park and his team are 7/5 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets) to beat their French opponents on Thursday, something which would get them back into contention as far as a place in the last 32 is concerned.
Celtic have drawn their last two Europa League matches, holding Udinese at home before an unlikely draw in Rennes and much depends on the visitors’ team selection, considering that domestic results are often considered more important.
The visitors are 21/10 (bet365 – £200 free betting) to win this clash and a low-scoring match looks to be on the cards considering that just two goals have been scored in the last three Rennes matches.
Gary Hooper is a 6/1 chance to open the scoring and Lennon will be hoping for a confidence booster ahead of Sunday’s tricky trip to Motherwell which comes just before the international break where the manager may or may not be able to keep hold of his job.