Celtic v FC Astana: In-form Griffiths to be key man once again


Celtic face familiar foes in their Champions League play-off tie, in the form of FC Astana. The Hoops knocked the Kazakh side out of the tournament last season with a 3-2 aggregate win. But we expect them to progress more comfortably this time.

Brendan Rodgers’ men head into this first-leg in outstanding form, having won two of their last three games by three or more goals. With Astana suffering a few 3-0 away defeats at the back end of last term, a 3-0 Celtic win could prove popular at 15/2.

Having conceded just twice in their past eight home games, the 21/20 on the hosts winning to nil at Parkhead looks a solid selection.

While home fans will be keen to see Moussa Dembele back and firing, experienced striker Leigh Griffiths has been leading the line in scintillating fashion.

The 26-year-old has netted five times in the club’s last four home games, and is 8/11 to register anytime here. However, having already grabbed a brace on two occasions this month, we like the Scotland international to score two goals or more at 11/5.

With the Hoops so dominant at Celtic Park, the -1 handicap looks a savvy bet at 6/5, while a -2 on Rodgers’ men looks generously priced at 16/5.

And having led by the half-hour mark in five of their last seven games, the 17/10 on offer for Result After 30 Minutes: Celtic is as close to a banker as you’ll get at that price.

In the match betting, the hosts are 2/5 for victory, with Astana 8/1 outsiders and a first-leg draw priced up at 10/3.

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