SCOTTISH football expert Mr Fixit (@MrFixitTips) previews Tuesday night’s Champions League contest between Celtic and Alashkert as the Bhoys begin their latest European odyssey.
Alashkert v Celtic | Tuesday 10th July 2018, 17:00 | Premier Sports
Celtic are eight games away from the Champions League but should overcome the first hurdle on Tuesday night.
Brendan Rodgers’s side kick-off their marathon bid to make the groups with a long trek to Armenia to face an Alashkert side who knocked out St Johnstone three years ago.
There will be no double Scotch for the minnows though with Rodgers well aware of what’s required to negotiate these stages and is concerned about the searing heat.
Three words will guard him against complacency though – Lincoln Red Imps. The Gibraltar side caught his side cold a couple of years ago and Rodgers won’t allow that to happen again.
His first-choice side prepared well by battering Shamrock Rovers on Saturday and the manager has been waxing lyrically about the condition of stars such as Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair and Odsonne Edouard.
Celtic are a best 1/3 at Ladbrokes to win and no price at all to qualify (you’re talking about 1/33).
Attack best form of defence
Rodgers looks set to go with Dembele and Edouard up top and maybe he thinks the best form of defence is attack with Mikael Lustig and Dedryck Boyata missing. Leigh Griffiths is also injured and Tom Rogic is still on a break after playing for Australia at the World Cup.
French stars Dembele and Edouard on target in Ireland and to score first both are 11/4 at William Hill.
Sinclair is 5/1 and if you want a bit more value take Callum McGregor at 15/2 as he may be lower down Alashkert’s radar and has netted some big goals for the club.
I’d back both confidently if it was further into the campaign but Celtic may just be keen to get any win and return to Parkhead with no damage done.
Even without their World Cup stars, Celtic to win to nil should happen at 10/11 with William Hill.
Alashkert v Celtic – Celtic -1 handicap (11/10 Betfair)
Alashkert v Celtic – Celtic to win to nil (10/11 William Hill)
Alashkert v Celtic – Moussa Dembele to score first (11/4 William Hill)