Scottish side Celtic has been winning their league easily on the last few years and, despite Rangers’ return to the top tier last season,
The Catholics didn’t crumble under the pressure and won the title again, with relative ease.
Last season they played on the Champions League but ended up being eliminated on the group stage, since they had a tough group. Still, they had some good performances, especially on their 3-3 draw at home against Manchester City. This year, they have the same goal, and their squad is practically the same as last season’s.
On the league, they have 2 wins on 2 matches played and in the Champions League, they got through the last 2 qualifying rounds, by eliminating Linfield, with 2 wins, and then Rosenborg, in a closer tie, where they drew 0-0 at home and then won 1-0 away in Norway, which allowed them to reach this play-off.
Astana: the team from Kazakhstan meets Celtic again, which is the team who eliminated them last season, on a very close tie.
Astana has already proved themselves as a team who can be really dangerous, especially at home, where they are clearly stronger and where their attacking players can take advantage of their speed, and cause their opposition some troubles.
Astana is leading their domestic league and they have also played in 2 qualifying rounds so far in this Champions League.
They eliminated Spartaks Jumala on a close tie and then Legia Warsaw, where they have won 3-1 at home and then were able to hold off their opponents and lose only 1-0 at Warsaw, which ensured their ticket to this play-off.
Celtic vs Astana Pick:
Celtic will win this match. I saw Astana’s match in Warsaw and although they were playing with the advantage already, the team didn’t show superiority against the Poles, and they were lucky to only lose 1-0.
In Scotland, they will suffer more, because Celtic is stronger, has a great crowd and are a team in good form.
After struggling against Rosenborg, where they could only draw 0-0 at home, I believe they will work harder to win this match, and they should already be more competitive and their intermeshing should be better now than what it was 3 weeks ago.
Last year they struggled to beat this Astana side, but now they are aware of these difficulties, so I expect them to be better this time, and I fancy them to win this match.