GLASGOW CELTIC- DINAMO MOSCOW
Celtic really impressed in the weekend tournament at Wembley and look to have hit form at just the right time. Although their domestic campaign has not yet started, this is arguably, the most important game new home boss Tony Mowbray will face this season. This massive, but cash strapped club, really HAVE to progress at the very least, to the next stage, anything less will be seen as something of a disaster.
They are very tough to beat at Celtic Park, where many of Europe's finest teams have been found wanting in recent seasons.
Dinamo finished third in the Russian league last season, their highest finish in a decade and they are fully match fit, 15 games into their season. However, they lack experience at this level, are finding goals hard to come by and are without suspended skipper Dmitry Khokhkov. I feel that this is too vital for Celtic and they will be ultra keen to take a lead to Moscow.
6.5 points Celtic -1/2 ball 1.83 general quote.
VENTSPILS - BATE
BATE are far and away the beat team in Belarus, where such is their lead at the top of the table, that they can concentrate 100% on the Champions League.
Ventspils look an inferior side and are busy fighting a tense three way battle for their domestic title. They have qualified three times recently for the Champions League and on each occasion have been eliminated at this stage, with victories only over Welsh (twice) and Luxembourg opponents, losing as soon as they face a stronger rival.
BATE will be desperate to emulate last years performance when they reached the group stage and impressed many with their showing in the "group of death", where they competed with Real Madrid, Juventus and Zenit. They fully realise what riches are possible from progression and will be looking to put this match to bed with a big first leg performance.
5.5 points BATE -1/2 ball 2.20 general quote.