Celtic v Astana Betting Preview
UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round
Location: Celtic Park
Date: 3rd August 2016
Live on BT Sport 1
Celtic got some high praise after their recent friendly against Barcelona.
That is the kind of company they are desperate to be keeping. But praise and plaudits will count for nothing if they can’t see past Astana on Wednesday.
Brendan Rodgers’ Celts have given themselves an excellent chance of making the playoff round after a 1-1 draw in Kazakhstan. But their defensive frailties were apparent once more in Dublin. Efe Ambrose was the fall guy once more after a spectacular own goal.
Although thats harsh on the defender who was doing his best to cut out a zipping cross. Furthermore the booing that followed was distinctly unlike the usually supportive Celtic fans. It was uncalled for and, most importantly, counter productive.
Ambrose is almost certain to start against Astana. In the midst of their defensive crisis he is their most experienced central defender. The pressure on his shoulders was already immense and now he may feel like he has lost the home crowd’s support.
Stronger men have crashed and burned in the face of such demands. In fairness to Ambrose he has never hid nor shirked his duties when called upon. And in fairness to Celtic fans the vast majority recognise this.
The Celtic manager can relieve some of the pressure by getting his key selections right. Tom Rogic shined against Barca as a second half substitute and is surely in line for a start. Furthermore Moussa Dembele may be better served with a bit of bench time after an unsure start.
Rogic is Celtic’s most creative player in the absence of Kris Commons. He is the most likely source to cut out chances for Leigh Griffiths to fire Celtic to the next round. And they will need someone to fire them because a clean sheet looks unlikely.
Celtic v Astana Betting Preview Best Betting Odds
Celtic are 1.67 (4/6) favourites to win the tie with Coral. Astana are 6.1 (51/10) with Marathon Bet. They are also best price for the draw at 3.9 (29/10).
The Kazakhs have to score. Betfair price them up at 1.75 (3/4) to get on the scoresheet but Both Teams To Score could be better at 2.14 (8/7) with 888Sport. Marathon Bet offer 2.2 (6/5) for +2.5 goals and that is not out of the question.
Celtic v Astana Betting Preview Free Football Tips & Predictions
Celtic -1 Asian Handicap @ 2.22 with McBookie