Celtic vs AEK Athens Betting Tips – 14/08/2018

Celtic vs AEK Athens Betting Tips – 14/08/2018

Celtic vs AEK Athens

Celtic are in serious danger of missing out on Champions League football as they head to Greece to take on AEK Athens in the second leg of their third-round qualifier on Tuesday.

The Glasgow side have successfully navigated these stages in last two seasons and were initially deemed favourites to get past AEK, following comfortable wins over Alashkert and Rosenborg in the first two qualifying rounds. However, they have made it far from simple for themselves after playing out a 1-1 draw in the home leg.

The Hoops were guilty of squandering many opportunities in the first leg, something which Brendan Rodgers will hope doesn’t come back to bite them in this one. They took an early lead through Callum McGregor in the 17th minute of the game, but were pegged back by Victor Klonaridis’ equalizer in the penultimate minute of the first half.

The Scottish champions were presented with a golden opportunity in the second half when Konstantinos Galanopoulos was shown his marching orders in the 57th-minute, but failed to capitalize on their man-advantage as the Greek side claimed an admirable result.

The Scottish domestic season is already underway, and it hasn’t started well for Brendan Rodgers’ men, as a heavily-changed Celtic side lost 1-0 at Hearts on Saturday. Rodgers made five changes to his starting eleven on Saturday, but his backup players weren’t up to the task against Hearts as Kyle Lafferty scored the game’s only goal. Odsonne Edouard was a second-half substitute against Hearts, but he should start against the Greek side. Leigh Griffiths should return to the bench, but we expect Scott Sinclair to keep his place in the eleven. The visitors are expected to be without Moussa Dembele and Nir Bitton for this game through injury.

It has been a far from ideal week for the Scottish champions, but it will all feel worth it so long as they are able to progress on Tuesday night. The Hoops are now second-favourites in the betting market to qualify to the play-off round, and there are good reasons behind their underdog status.

Celtic could be faced with altogether different problems in the second leg. It could get uncomfortable for them to play in the sweltering August heat of Greece, as temperatures are expected to hit 35 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the Greek side are famous for their vociferous home support and it will be an intimidating experience for the visitors.

The visitors haven’t bowed out in this stage of qualification since the 2010-11 season when they lost out to Portuguese side Braga. AEK have directly qualified for the third round of qualification after winning their domestic league last season.

The Greek side haven’t been regular in the Champions League, and they have not played in the main draw since 2006-07. Last season, AEK lost 3-0 on aggregate to CSKA Moscow at the same stage of qualification. That said, they find themselves in a much better position this time and are presented with a rare opportunity of reaching the play-off round for this first time in last 10 years.

Croatian striker Marko Livaja led the attack in the first leg, and should to keep his place up front. Klonaridis, goalscorer in the first leg, is another dangerous player in Ouzounidis’s side.

The Greek side have played only one competitive game this season, but they are already without some key players. Skipper Petros Mantalos is not available along with Dmytro Chygrynskiy due to injuries. Galanopoulos is suspended following his red card in the first leg.

The Greek club have looked defensively solid under the management of Marinos Ouzounidis, who has been in the hot seat since May. AEK will look keep things tight in the second leg, but will face a stern test from their opponents who have scored goals for fun under Rodgers.

Recommended bets:

Celtic to qualify at 11/10 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Both teams to score YES at EVENS with Betfair – BET HERE