Celtic v Astana: Back the Bhoys to shutout away-day strugglers

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SCOTTISH football expert Mr Fixit (@MrFixitTips) previews Wednesday night’s Champions League qualifier between Celtic and Astana.

Celtic v Astana | Wednesday 16th August 2017, 19:45 | BT Sport

So here we go again – Celtic v Astana in the Champions League qualifiers.

The reward is a place in the group stage and Brendan Rodgers will be banking on a repeat of last season’s 3-2 aggregate victory.

Last-gasp hero Moussa Dembele misses out this time and Leigh Griffiths, who scored in both legs a year ago, will be hoping he is fit enough to make his mark.

Griffiths get goals

Griffiths couldn’t play 90 minutes against Partick but Rodgers doesn’t have options so he is likely to start and is 16/5 at BetVictor to score first.

To net the Scotland striker is evens with William Hill and with four in his last three games, he’s a smart selection to break the deadlock.

Celtic are hot favourites at 4/11 with William Hill to qualify and 4/9 at Bet365 to win on Wednesday night – and they’ll be keen to take a lead to a tough and distant venue.

Astana’s away struggles

Astana are powerful at home but have won once away in 15 European trips as they struggle to cope with the time differences.

They lost 1-0 at Legia Warsaw in the previous round and last season were beaten on the road in the Europa League by APOEL Nicosia, Olympiakos and Young Boys.

Celtic haven’t conceded in four ties against Linfield and Rosenborg and win ‘to nil’ at evens with Unibet would be the perfect result.

Astana will aim to keep it tight and a 1-0 or 2-0 home success is on the cards. Celtic to win 1-0 pays 5/1 with William Hill while 2-0 is 11/2 at Paddy Power.

Best Bets

Celtic v Astana – Leigh Griffiths to score first (16/5 BetVictor)

Celtic v Astana – Celtic to win ‘to nil’ (1/1 Unibet)

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