Celtic vs Astana:
Champions League Qualifiers.
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2016,
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Celtic Park (Glasgow).

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Celtic have the away goal advantage when they welcome FC Astana for the second leg fixture of the Champions League qualifiers on Wednesday night.

Leigh Griffith scored the all important late equaliser at Astana last week to give Celtic a 1-1 draw in the first leg. Now Brendan Rodgers will be hoping that his boys can do a neat job at home in the return leg to advance to the play-offs. The Scottish club suffered a 1-0 loss in the first leg of the previous round against Lincoln Red Imps FC from Gibralter, but overturned the deficit with a 2-0 win in Glasgow. This time the task in hand is not that hard, but Astana are not as weak as their previous opponent.

Astana were drawn against Lithuanian outfit Zalgiris Vilnius for the second round qualifier and they were held to a 0-0 draw in the away leg. In the second leg at home they struggled to hold off the visitors and the scored were tied at 1-1 at 90 minutes, until Marin Anicic scored the late winner to send Astana through to the third round. The defending Kazakh champions had never won a match away from home in this competition and to defeat a club like Celtic at Glasgow is a tall order.

Celtic vs Astana: Head-to-Head Stats

Cetic are Astana’s first ever Scottish opponent in a UEFA fixture. The Scottish giants had previously played against a Kazhak opposition in FC Shakhter Karagandy during the play-off stages of 2013/14 UEFA Champions League. Their visit to Kazhakstan on that occasion resulted in a 2-0 defeat, but pulled out a 3-0 win to overturn the deficit in the return leg at Glasgow.

Celtic vs Astana: Prediction

Astana are pretty inexperienced at this level and hardly meet sides of Celtic’s quality that often. Also they largely struggled against Zalgiris Vilnius in the second round of qualifier. Also they haven’t won an away match in Champions League.

Brenden Rodger’s side have the quality to see off a side like Astana considering they are a better quality side than the visitors. They have won in each of the last four matches in this competition at home, keeping clean sheets in three. They have the home advantage and are ahead of away goal following the 1-1 result at Astana a week ago.

I hardly expect Astana to trouble Celtic on Wednesday’s encounter and I will be backing the home side to grab a win with a clean sheet.

Celtic vs Astana: Tips

  1. Celtic to win to nil.
  2. Celtic Over 1.5 goals.