Anthony Olsson (@Ant_olsson93) previews Celtic vs AEK Athens and provides us with his best bets for Wednesdays Champions League 3rd round First leg Qualifier by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Celtic v AEK Athens Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 08/08/18
- Time: 19:45
- Venue: Celtic Park
- Channel: N/A
Celtic got off to the perfect start on the opening weekend of their new league campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win against Livingston at Celtic Park. They now face a sterner test in the form of Greek Super League Champions, AEK Athens. The Greek enter the competition at the 3rd round qualifying stage by virtue of winning the Super League. It was a campaign that saw the Greek side lose only 2 games on the way to winning their 12th league title.
Celtic have been impressive so far in the qualifying rounds and they overcame Rosenborg in the previous round despite going behind early in the first leg. Celtic are 3/4 to win the first leg whilst AEK are best priced 9/2 to claim a famous victory at Celtic Park.
Celtic should be able to field French Under-21 star Olivier Ntcham on Wednesday despite the the young midfielder limping off in the closing moments of Saturday’s game against Livingston. Ntcham has 2 goals in his last 3 games and his good start to the season has attracted interest from Serie A side Torino. Ntcham can be backed to score first on Wednesday night at 11/1 (Betfair) or at 9/2 (Betfair) to score at any time during the match.
Odsonne Edouard has scored 3 goals in his last 5 competitve matches and he will be leading the line again for the Bhoys on Wednesday night. He can be backed to score the first goal at 4/1 (Betfair)
Celtic will be aiming to take a big lead into the Second Leg in Athens and they will be hoping that they can keep out AEK Athens who will most likely need to grab an important away goal to stand any chance of getting through to the next round. However, Celtic will have Swedish international Mikael Lustig, back from his World Cup exploits and Jozo Simunovic, fresh from his suspension in round 1. With two experienced defenders back a clean sheet for Celtic could be a good way to go and that can backed at Evens (Coral) whilst a win to nil for the Hoops is best priced 7/4 (Unibet).
AEK will be looking to summer arrival Marko Livaja to grab a much needed away goal and he can be backed at 10/ 1 (Betfair) to score the first goal. The Croatian scored 10 goals in all competitions for Athens last campaign.
Celtic are without young defender Kristoffer Ajer and they will be without Striker, Moussa Dembele, who is still suffering with a hamstring injury picked up against Alashkert.
AEK are likely be without captain Petros Mantolos after their Captain picked up a groin injury in training.
Potential Celtic Starting XI: Gordon, Lustig, Simunovic, Hendry, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, Sinclair, Edouard
Potential AEK Starting XI: Barkas, Bakakis, Bakaesetas, Galanopoulos, Klondaridis, Lambropoulos, Livaja, Lopes, Oikonomou, Simoes, Albanis
Key Stats & Facts
- Celtic have scored 3 goals or more in their last 4 home games..
- AEK Athens have only scored 3 goals in their last 3 games with all of them coming in their last friendly against Galatasaray.
- Celtic 3/4
- Draw 7/2
- AEK Athens 9/2
Celtic will be looking to take a lead into what will be a tough away fixture in Athens in the second leg of this tie. They will be looking once again to their prolific attack and Odsonne Edouard should be a good punt to get the Bhoys off to a flyer. With Lustig and Simunovic back for the Bhoys I fancy Celtic’s chances of winning the game to nil.