Celtic did it the hard way against Lincoln Red Imps, recovering from a first-leg deficit with a 3-0 rout of their opponents in the return fixture at Celtic Park. And their European progress looks set to continue with victory over Astana in Kazakhstan.
Stanimir Stoilov’s men have recorded some victories on the continent during their mere seven years of existence, but the good times appear to be drying up, following a single victory in their last nine European outings.
And that solitary triumph – which secured their passage from this year’s second qualifying round – was a fortunate victory over Lithuanian minnows Zalgiris Vilnius, with the winning goal coming deep into stoppage time.
Those stats are in stark contrast to Celtic’s, with the Hoops having won five European matches since the beginning of last season, including a superb 4-1 away win at the home of Icelandic champions Stjarnan.
That means that Brendan Rodgers’ men are the boys to back for first-leg victory, with 21/10 for Celtic to win, while it’s 7/5 for an Astana triumph and 2/1 for the draw.
However, there could be even better value in backing the Hoops to win and both teams to score, at 13/2, with both sides having scored in seven of the Old Firm giants’ last 10 European outings.
Meanwhile, fans looking for a plausible long-odds bet could be tempted to back a repeat of their last away triumph on the continent, with 90/1 for the visitors to win 4-1 here – while a repeat of the 3-0 margin that toppled Lincoln can be had at 33s.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing