Aron Wright - July 16, 2018
Celtic vs Alashkert
UEFA Champions League
Date: Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Kick-Off at 19:45 UK / 20:45 CET
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow.
Celtic made a successful start to what could be a very long Champions League campaign in the 2018/19 season.
The Bhoys closed the opening qualifying round tie against Alashkert in the first leg, beating the Armenian champions 0-3 on the road. The reverse fixture is only a formality and will only serve as sort of a friendly for the Scottish heavyweights.
The Hoops featured the Champions League group stage in two consecutive years, but making it third on the trot will be quite a big challenge after changes in the competition propositions.
Celtic will need to go past four different obstacles to reach the group phase. The good news for Brendan Rodgers is the form of his French duo in the final third, primarily Odsonne Edouard who has been fantastic this summer.
Edouard was the one who broke the deadlock right before the half time of the clash in Armenia, while he was also on target in a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Standard Liege in weekend’s friendly.
Celtic somewhat struggled to break the deadlock in the first ever head to head clash with Alashkert.
The Hoops eventually managed to break their rivals’ resistance and celebrate a convincing 0-3 victory at the end.
James Forrest and Callum McGregor added their names on the scoresheet within the final ten minutes of the match.
Alashkert will clearly be much more motivated of the two sides here as they want to fix the impression and offer a strong showing against such an opposition at Celtic Park. They were unlucky to lose by a three-goal margin in the first game and we’d not be surprised to see the luck shift around here.
The value is huge with Alashkert not to lose by three or more goals difference at the odds of 2.05 knowing that the hosts do not have reasons to fill the opponents’ net to the max here.
Alashkert conceded just one goal in four games before the mentioned loss to Celtic in the first leg of the UCL tie. We believe Varuzhan Sukiasyan’s men have what it takes to avoid a disaster here and backing the Under 3.5 goals FT also has value at 1.80.
Alashkert +2.5 handicap @ 2.05
Under 3.5 goals FT @ 1.80.