Celtic vs AEK Athens Betting Preview – 08/08/2018

Celtic vs AEK Athens Betting Preview – 08/08/2018

Celtic vs AEK Athens

Celtic host AEK Athens at Celtic Park on Tuesday night, as both teams look to progress to the play-off round of the Champions League qualifiers. The winner of this two-legged tie will progress to face either Malmo or MOL Vidi in a decider that would determine who makes the group stages of the competition.

Celtic will be planning on another successful season in the Scottish Premier League after being crowned champions once again last year, however, Wednesday’s focus will be firmly on their Champions League campaign. The first leg of the tie between Celtic and AEK Athens will take place at Celtic Park, giving the Scottish club home advantage that they must capitalise on. Including the Scottish Premier League win over Livingston at the weekend, Celtic have lost only one of their last 20 home matches in all competitions, as well as winning 10 of their last 11 home Champions League qualifiers.

Speaking before the tie, Brendan Rodgers said it was just about finding a way to progress in the competition at this point in time, regardless of how their performances may look. For this clash, he stressed the need for Celtic to be more aggressive as they look to secure a commanding lead to take into the second leg.

This season, Celtic have played three home games, two in the Champions League and one in the league – winning all three. There have been wins over Alashkert and Rosenborg in the Champions League which will give them great confidence ahead of this game, however it is a tie that could ultimately go either way as AEK Athens are a strong outfit who won the Greek League last term. With a league game on Saturday which sees Celtic travel to rivals Hearts, it will be interesting to see if Rodgers decides to rest some of his key players or play his strongest side to ensure they win this clash. Left-back Kieran Tierney was left out against Livingston and Rodgers may look to deploy a similar tactic this time around.

AEK Athens do not start their domestic campaign until the 25th of this month and will be going into this clash relying only on friendlies to make sure their squad is up to speed. AEK haven’t played in the Champions League group stages in over a decade, with their last appearance past the qualifying rounds coming all the way back in 2006/07. Then, they were drawn alongside AC Milan, Sevilla and Lille and although they earned a famous win over the Italian giants at home, the Greeks were unable to progress to the last 16. From that perspective, it is Celtic who have the greater experience that may be needed to get the win in this encounter.

However, AEK were champions of the Greek League last year for a reason, finishing six points ahead of runners up PAOK and squad morale should still be especially high after such a successful season. Their pre-season has not followed such a successful track as of yet, winning only one of their four friendlies played. Without any real previous experience in the competition with their current crop of players and no competitive games under their belt as of yet, AEK have plenty of work to do if they hope to compete with their opponents on Wednesday night. The club have won just two of their 15 away games in the Champions League, but one of those victories did come on Scottish soil – a 2-1 victory away to Hearts at Tynecastle in 2006, so they will hope to replicate a similar result this time round.

Recommended bets:

Celtic win at 8/11 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Odsonne Edouard to score anytime at 5/4 with SkyBet – BET HERE