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

| 15.08.2017

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



Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.