Celtic already have at least one foot in this week’s Champions League group stage draw after they thrashed FC Astana 5-0 in the first leg of their qualifying play-off last week and they can complete the job with another confident display in Kazakhstan on Tuesday night…
- Scott Sinclair has scored 4 goals in 5 appearances in Champions League qualifying
- Celtic won the first leg 5-0
|Tuesday 22nd August – 4.30pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Astana v Celtic|
| Celtic win with draw no bet
|@ 10 / 11||
Brendan Rodgers’ men overwhelmed their opponents with a clinical display in Scotland last Wednesday night and we are backing them to follow up in this week’s second leg. Celtic are marginal 8/5 favourites for the win (Bet 365) but there is the possibility that they might ease off the gas and we are going to take out the insurance of a Celtic win with the ‘draw no bet’ at 10/11 with Sky Bet.
The Scottish champions traditionally struggle on the road in Europe but they are a developing outfit under Rodgers, winning at both Linfield and Rosenborg during this summer’s qualifiers, and they had the luxury of resting players for Saturday’s 2-0 win over Kilmarnock.
Rodgers made six changes to his team and fielded five graduate players as Celtic maintained their 100% record in the Scottish Premier League for the season, while also extending their unbeaten run in domestic matches to 52.
Can Astana Bounce Back?
As for Stanimir Stoilov’s Astana, the reigning Kazakh champions have a fine record on home soil as they are unbeaten in fourteen European matches on their artificial pitch, winning seven and drawing seven.
They have held Atletico Madrid and Benfica to stalemates at this ground in the past couple of years, while they drew 1-1 with Celtic when losing 3-2 on aggregate during last season’s Champions League qualifier.
However, Astana will be growing tired of the sight of Celtic and the 5-0 loss will have had a demoralising effect, with Scott Sinclair and co. primed to take advantage of their bruised hosts.
Astana have to attack which means Sinclair’s pace on the break could be devastating for Celtic. Sinclair scored a brace in the 5-0 win to take his tally to four goals in five qualifiers this summer and he is 15/2 to be first goalscorer (Bet Victor) or 23/10 to score anytime on Tuesday.
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