Celtic v AEK Athens | Wednesday 8th August 2018, 19:45 | Premier Sports
Celtic cruised past Alashkert and Rosenborg but will find it tougher to see off AEK Athens. Brendan Rodgers knows his men must take a lead to Greece where a hot reception awaits.
The Hoops are evens to qualify for the Champions League with the winners of this tie facing Malmo or Vidi – and the Hungarians are favourites after a 1-1 draw in Sweden.
AEK haven’t played a competitive game and aren’t great travellers. Last season they lost home and away to CSKA Moscow without scoring in their first qualifiers for 10 years so Celtic are more experienced at this level.
To win Wednesday night’s first leg Celtic are a best 5/6 at William Hill and they’ve been boosted by the absence of AEK skipper Petros Mantalas. Celtic are fancied to qualify at 4/6 with William Hill while the Greeks, back at the top after a financial crisis, are 6/5 at Paddy Power.
Rodgers’s side have netted exactly three in four of their five matches this season with the exception being away to Rosenborg when they protected a 3-1 lead. Another three goals, preferably without conceding, would be a perfect outcome but is a tall order especially with Moussa Dembele missing.
Celtic to score 3+ pays 37/10 at Unibet but two or more has a better chance at 1/1 with Bet365. Both Teams To Score is 11/10 but Rodgers will be desperate to keep a clean sheet and Celtic are 17/10 at BetVictor to win to nil.
Odsonne Edouard is again first-scorer favourite and I fancy him at 10/3 at William Hill to score first. Olivier Ntcham has made a good start to the season and takes penalties and is worth a look at 7/2 with William Hill to net.
Celtic v AEK Athens – Celtic to score Over 1.5 Goals (1/1 Bet365)
Celtic v AEK Athens – Olivier Ntcham to score at anytime (7/2 William Hill)