Kick-off: 1945, 18/07/2018
Celtic all-but guaranteed their place in the second Champions League qualifying round after a commanding 3-0 win over Alashkert in Yerevan.
Goals from Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest and Callum McGregor wrapped up a victory which should be enough for them to progress.
The champions of Armenia for the past three seasons are unlikely to pose too many problems at Parkhead so we are snapping up 21/10 for the Hoops to win 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0 for our first Celtic vs Alashkert prediction.
A Look At Celtic’s Betting Odds
Celtic kicked off in 33C heat in the first leg as they began their new season just over seven weeks after beating Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final.
But goals in the final 10 minutes from Forrest and McGregor were evidence of how well the Scottish champions had prepared for the midsummer challenge.
Manager Brendan Rodgers told his club’s official website: “It was very hot for us on the bench and we were only watching. I take my hat off to my players. We are certainly not used to these conditions, but they coped really well and showed a strong mentality.
“When you can score late goals like we did then it tells you everything about the fitness. We pride ourselves on how hard we work, how hard we run and the intensity of our game.
“To do that in these conditions is a huge testament to how focused and how fit they are at this point. There’s still a long way to go for them, but their fitness levels were evident in a game that had a lot of meaning to it and it was really pleasing to me.”
Looking at the Celtic vs Alashkert odds, we like 3/4 for Celtic to score over 0.5 goals between 75.01 and full-time.
A Look At Alashkert’s Betting Odds
Alashkert showed little in the way of an attacking threat until the 20th minute when Artak Dashyan drew a fine save from Craig Gordon at his near post before Uros Nenadovic missed the target seconds later.
The Armenians had switched the game from their own smaller ground to the 15,000-capacity Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium but it was far from full.
A 1-0, the home side forced Gordon into another save at the start of the second half to deny Brazilian Jefferson Reis and then shortly after the hour he tipped a powerful long-range effort from Artak Edigaryan over the crossbar.
But that was as good as it got for Alashkert, who knocked St Johnstone out in a Europa League qualifier three years ago.
Alashkert have seen some changes this year, though, with long-time manager Abraham Khashmanyan and several key players moving on after a hat-trick of domestic title triumphs.
Given the way Celtic handled the first leg, the return should be a comfortable night so 11/2 they complete a 4-0 win is the last of our Celtic vs Alashkert betting tips.
ALASHKERT 0-3 CELTIC (Edouard, Forrest, McGregor)