FC Astana v Celtic: Hoops looking to extend unbeaten run

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Celtic head to Kazakhstan to face FC Astana in the second leg of this Champions League play-off, safe in the knowledge that progression to the group stages is all but assured. The Hoops won 5-0 in the first leg at Parkhead last week and will be looking to continue their impressive unbeaten run to 42 games in all competitions. 

The Ladbrokes Premiership champions may have had it all their own way on home soil last week but a trip to the Kazakh capital is a different prospect – as Brendan Rodgers well knows. The Hoops drew 1-1 on their last visit one year ago and it’s 11/2 for a repeat scoreline this time around.

Given Celtic’s proficiency for keeping clean sheets in Europe – five in their last five games – the 15/4 for the visitors to Win to Nil looks well priced.

If the Bhoys can manage that, they’ll need to overcome an Astana side unbeaten in 14 at home in European competition.

With that in mind the Under 2.5 goals market looks like the safest bet of the evening at 10/11. However, if you fancy it to be even tighter, then 27/10 is available on Under 1.5 goals.

If Celtic are to score then Scott Sinclair may be the man to find the back of the net. The ex-Manchester City winger scored twice in an excellent display last week at Parkhead and is 2/1 to find the net anytime in Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, Leigh Griffiths has scored two in three appearances against Astana. We go 4/1 that he bags the opener this time around.

In the match betting it’s hard to look past Celtic maintaining their current unbeaten run. Brendan Rodgers will be wary of the hosts’ potency at home though, so the double chance on Celtic or Draw makes appeal at 4/9.

The visitors are 31/20 to win inside 90 minutes, with Astana slightly bigger at 33/20. The draw is 23/10.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket, speedway and horse racing.