Celtic vs AEK Athens / Champions League – This pair in the third qualifying round of the Champions League attracts a lot of attention because it is played between the current Scottish and Greek champions meet, with the proviso that the team of Celtic has become a regular participant of this competition while on the other hand the guests from Athens have only played in the Europa League in the last two seasons. We should also add that this is their first mutual duel in history.
Celtic vs AEK Athens begins 08.08.2018. at 20:45 CET.
Even though they have reached their seventh consecutive championship title of the Scottish champions last season, their slightly weaker league coefficient has led to the fact that Celtic had to start from the first qualifying round in Champions League this season, so this is already the sixth competitive game they are playing in the period of one month. Specifically, in the Champions League, they were better than the Armenian Alaskan and Norwegian Rosenborg, while they mastered the team of Livingston at home with 3-1 last weekend at the opening of the new championship season.
Of course, Rodgers can be very pleased with their previous effect of four wins and one draw, especially since their first striker Dembele got injured at the beginning of the season, but his absence is now excellently covered by the newcomer Edouard, who scored three goals in three games played. As for the rest of the team, on that list of injured players, apart from Dembele, are also center-backs Boyata and Compper, as well as midfielders Bitton and Morgan, while center-back Simunovic returns after the suspension.
Probable lineups Celtic: Gordon – Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer, Tierney – Brown, Ntcham – Forrest, McGregor, Sinclair – Edouard
Unlike Celtic, who has been an absolute ruler of Scottish football for seven years, the team of AEK from Athens has won the title of the champions in Greece last year, after 24 years, thanks mainly to the controversial match with PAOK because of “scam” of domestic fans which has won AEK all three points on the “green table”. And that was at the end the difference between the two teams, which was also the end of their long-standing rule of Olympiakos and Panathinaikos in Greek football.
Last year, AEK came to the round of sixteen of Europa League, where he was stopped by Dynamo in Kiev, but despite all these successes their Spanish coach Jimenez has left the team during the summer, while they brought the former strategist of Panathinaikos, Ouzounidis, as his replacement. We should also add that after winning the title, AEK has also lost center-back Vranjes, midfielders Joanasson, Kone and Shojaei, as well as strikers Araujo and Christodoulopoulos, they brought center-back Oikonomou, midfielder Alef, and strikers Ponce, Boye and Albanis as reinforcements for the next season.
Probable lineups AEK Athens: Barkas – Bakakis, Oikonomou, Lampropoulos, Lopes – Simoes, Galanopoulos – Bakasetas, Mantalos, Klonaridis – Livaja
Celtic vs AEK Athens PICK
Even though Celtic has made three victories in three domestic games this season, we think they will have a lot of problems now against the very solid and disciplined team of AEK, so we decided on a match with a small number o goals.
Pick: under 2.5 goals
Odds: 1.64 at unibet (down to 1.60 can be played)