Celtic vs Shakhter Karagandy 08/28/2013 Free Soccer Pick and Preview
Shakhter Karagandy vs Celtic
Wednesday 28th August 2013 19:45(GMT)
The Line: Celtic 2/9 Draw 5/1 Shakhter Karagandy 12/1 See the Latest Odds
TV: Sky Sports; NBC Sports;RTE 2
Celtic are in a real tough spot, they trail 2-0 from the opening leg of their Champions League qualifier and they know that if they concede one on Wednesday, they will need to score at least four to progress to the group stages of the Champions League. This is a far cry from the Celtic team that beat Barcelona 2-1 in Celtic Park last season or the Celtic side that held the lead against Barcelona in the Nou Camp up to the 85th minute. Neil Lennon's side, though, have had to cope with the loss of two of their best players with Victor Wanayama and Gary Hooper leaving for the challenge of the Premier League. Celtic have not spent the money on quality replacements as of yet, and the questions will be asked if Celtic do not qualify as to why the money has not been alocated for player purchases. Lennon has a tough job as it is and without Rangers in the league to press Celtic, it is pretty obvious that Celtic can win the league at a canter and have to raise their level only for the Champions League games. Celtic Park will be absolutely rocking tomorrow night and many a big side has come to Glasgow and wilted under the pressure of the home crowd.
Shakhter Karagandy come to Glasgow with a shocking 2-0 lead, a deflected goal in the 77th minute has really put the Kazakhstan team in a terrific position. With manager Kumykov sure to put out a defence minded team to try to hold onto the lead, it will be interesiting to see how both the strikers who scored last week, Finochenko & Khizhnichenko, are used. The Kazakhstan team will play eleven men behind the ball and try to hold what they have, I think. Tomorrow night could turn out to be a very interesting and nervy night in Celtic Park.
Celtic are a really big club with a great tradition in European competition and Celtic Park will be electric if the green and white hoops get an early goal. If they do, I think they can go on to beat their opponents by three or four! I'm going to take Celtic -1 on the handicap, I think the Hoops will do enough to get through to the group stages and I think we could see another special atmosphere in a really special ground. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo