We asked four of our football writers to give their predictions ahead of Thursday night’s clash in the Europa League.
Andrew Smith: Rosenborg 0 Celtic 2
Celtic will never have a better chance of ending their - now 14 game - winless run on the road in the group stages of the Europa League. The combination of Brendan Rodgers’ men being bang in form, and the Norwegians having other priorities, ought to play firmly into their hands. There is no realistic prospect of Rosenborg qualifying from Group B, and with a national cup final on Sunday, interim coach Rini Coolen has confessed he will rest a raft of senior players to ensure his domestic champions are as fresh as possible for the bid to complete a double at the weekend. Celtic may have been decidedly flakey in their European travels, but in the past 16 months have twice recorded clean sheets in the Lerkendal Stadium. Their prospects of a third ought to be enhanced by strongest central defensive pairing Filip Benkovic and Dedryck Boyata being available to them in an overseas assignment for the first time.
Joel Sked: Rosenborg 0 Celtic 2
Despite the fact the Norwegians can still qualify from the group, however unlikely that would be, it is expected that they will make a number of changes to their team. That coupled with the fact Celtic are a different proposition to the team Rosenborg faced earlier in the season I expect a professional and efficient performance from Rodgers’ side. They didn’t have to get out of second gear against Hamilton meaning they will have plenty of zest to their game. Benkovic has made a huge difference and with Leigh Griffiths back Celtic will simply have too much quality.
Moira Gordon: Rosenborg 1 Celtic 2
It usually seems foolish to predict an away win for Celtic at this stage of European competition but circumstances have combined to make this a decent bet. The sides contested a 0-0 stalemate when they faced up there in the second round of this year’s Champions League qualifiers but the Scottish champions were able to put three past their rivals when they met up at Celtic Park and with Rosenborg admitting that they are giving priority to a domestic cup final, a Celtic side possessed of players who have been finding some real form and confidence in recent weeks may just be able to prove themselves good enough to buck the trend and finally grab a vital overseas victory. But don’t expect it to be plain-sailing.
Craig Fowler: Rosenborg 1 Celtic 1
When predicting a Celtic result in the group stages of a European competition it’s recommended that any writer follow this simple guide. Are Celtic at Celtic Park? If so, Celtic win. Are Celtic away from home? If so, Celtic lose. For this match I’m going to relax that slightly as I don’t think Rosenborg, who’re going to be distracted by their cup final preparations, will have enough to defeat the Hoops.