Astana v Celtic Betting Preview
Location: Astana Arena
Date: 27th July 2016
Most Celtic fans will still be at work while the players are getting down to business in Kazakhstan.
The early kick off allows for the five hour time difference. But that is far from the only problem The Hoops will have to face. The stifling heat has always been a problem for Scottish sides away from home.
Astana are twenty-one games into their season and lead their league by eight points with a game in hand. They are in full flight and have an enviable Champions League record for a club so new to the competition.
They lost three of the fourteen games they played after debuting last season. All of Atletico Madrid, Benfica and Galatasaray failed to win here in the group stages. Celtic’s best hope is to get a draw here and take them on at Celtic Park in the return leg.
That is because Astana have yet to win away from home. This season, against genuine minnows from Lithuania, they needed an injury time goal to scrape through the tie after drawing 0-0 away from home. At least they didn’t lose to genuine minnows and we all know who did.
A major problem for Celtic is that their team looks no different to the side that struggled in Europe last season. Kolo Toure has signed but is ineligible. The only difference is Moussa Dembele up front and he hasn’t hit the ground running.
But it’s defensively where Celtic’s major concerns lie. Efe Ambrose remains a source of consternation with Celtic fans. The bad news is he is as likely to feature as anyone over the two games.
The hope for Celtic is Astana’s form being better judged on the Champions League performances this season rather than last. If that is the case then they may have a very good chance. But it’s a tough ask for Scotland’s champions.
Astana v Celtic Betting Preview Best Betting Odds
After opening at an outrageous price of 2/1 Astana have been backed into 2.55 (31/20) favourites with Marathon Bet. You can now back Celtic at a high of 3.06 (33/16) with Marathon Bet but they may drift even further. Marathon Bet are also best price for the draw at 3.25 (9/4).
Both teams to score is available at 2.1 (11/10) with Boylesports. Given Celtic’s history away from home it has little appeal. Goals backers can get 2.55 (31/20) for +2.5 goals from Marathon Bet.
All but one of Astana’s four qualifying home games have seen +2.5 goals. At a price like that and with Celtic always capable of scoring it seems difficult to refuse. But with faith in Celtic scoring required it may be sensible to play for a reduced stake.
Astana v Celtic Betting Preview Free Football Tips & Predictions
+2.5 goals @ 2.55 with Marathon Bet