Home Sports Betting Unsettled Rosenborg no match for Celtic
Unsettled Rosenborg no match for Celtic

Unsettled Rosenborg no match for Celtic

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Celtic can take advantage of Rosenborg’s surprising decision to part company with manager Kare Ingebrigtsen last week by beating the Norwegian side in the first leg of their Champions League second qualifying round tie.

The Trondheim-based side, who claimed the Eliteserien last year and are currently second in Norway’s top-flight behind Brann, have won their last three league fixtures but could only edge past Icelandic side Valur 3-2 on aggregate in the first qualifying round of the Champions League.

Celtic 11/4 to beat Rosenborg by two goals

Rosenborg, who were involved in the group stage of the Champions League 11 times between 1995 and 2007, have slipped from that pinnacle in the last decade and Brendan Rodgers’ team should have little problem disposing of them and setting up a two-legged tie with AEK Athens in the next round.

Meanwhile, Astana are very strong at home and should be able to ease to a routine victory against Danish side Midtjylland.

Astana are once again top of the Kazakhstan Premier League and on course to win their fifth title in a row, while Midtjylland have only just started their season.

Astana 7/2 to beat Midtjylland and both teams to score

The Kazakhs have never lost at home in the Champions League, recording seven wins and five draws, with Celtic, Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray all having to settle for draws at the Astana Arena.

Celtic drew 1-1 with Astana in the 2016/17 Champions League before losing 4-3 in Kazakhstan last term.

Midtjylland have failed to win either of their league games so far this season having won the Danish title last term and are unlikely to trouble Astana on their own pitch.

CFR Cluj 27/20 to keep a clean sheet against Malmo

Romanian champions CFR Cluj have been hard to beat at home in the Champions League in the past, with Chelsea, Roma and Basel all failing to record victories at the Dr Constantin Radulescu Stadium.

Malmo may be the current Swedish champions but they may struggle to avoid defeat in Romania.

They were knocked out of last season’s competition by Macedonian side Vardar at this stage and could suffer the same fate this term as Cluj have pedigree in the Champions League having reached the group stage in 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2012/13.

PAOK Salonika 47/20 to draw with FC Basel

FC Basel are involved in the second qualifying round after finishing as runners-up behind Young Boys in last season’s Swiss League. They had been champions for the previous eight seasons.

Basel are one of the strongest sides involved in this stage and reached the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017/18, eventually being knocked out by Manchester City.

They should be too strong for PAOK Salonika who finished second in the Greek Superleague last term, six points behind champions AEK Athens.

PAOK are usually involved in the Europa League, although they failed to progress from the play-off round last season. A draw in Greece would appear to be the best bet, with Basel having the ability to secure a comfortable victory on home soil.

Elsewhere Red Star Belgrade should have far too much quality for Lithuanian champions Suduva who caused a shock in the previous round when they knocked APOEL out.

Hapoel Be’er Sheva 11/5 to draw at Dinamo Zagreb

However, it could be tougher for Dinamo Zagreb when they come up against the Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva, who have won their domestic title for three years in a row. It would not be a surprise to see Hapoel clinching a draw in Croatia.

Dinamo may continue to dominate their domestic league but they have made little impression in Europe recently and were knocked out of the Europa League in the play-offs last season by Albanian team Skenderbeu Korce.

Ajax 11/2 to beat Sturm Graz 2-0

Ajax may be a shadow of the team that reached the 2016/17 Europa League final – they were beaten by Rosenborg in the play-offs of the same competition last season – but they still managed to finish second in the Eredivisie and should brush Sturm Graz aside.

Sturm Graz finished second in the Austrian Bundesliga last season, 13 points behind champions Red Bull Salzburg and should hold no fears for Ajax.

Qarabag 9/2 to beat Kukesi 1-0

Qarabag reached the group stage of the Champions League last season and, although that feat may be beyond the Azerbaijan side this season, they should ease to victory against the Albanian outfit Kukesi over two legs.

However, it may be another low-scoring affair as Qarabag only secured a nervy 1-0 aggregate victory against Olimpija Ljubljana in the previous round.

This week’s other four ties look set to be tight affairs, with Shkendija good value at 27/20 to beat Sheriff Tiraspol in Macedonia.

Last season Shkendija won their domestic league and reached the Europa League play-off round, where they were knocked out by AC Milan.

Legia Warsaw can also make home advantage count by beating the Slovakian side Spartak Trnava, with a victory for the Polish team and both teams to score good value at 27/10.

HJK Helsinki 13/5 to draw with BATE Borisov

Belarusian champions BATE Borisov reached the group stage of the Champions League in 2014/15 and 2015/16 and registered a victory against Cologne in last season’s Europa League.

BATE have won the Belarusian Premier League for the last 12 years but may find HJK Helsinki a tough nut to crack.

The Finnish side cruised past Vikingur Gota 5-2 on aggregate in the last round and have been the dominant side in their domestic league for the last decade. It would not be too much of a surprise for HJK to hold on for a draw against BATE.

Finally, Ludogorets Razgrad may be surprised by the Hungarian champions MOL Vidi, who were previously known as Videoton, and are 4/1 to draw in Bulgaria on Wednesday.

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Gareth Freeman Gareth is our daily tipster, who has years of successful sports betting behind him and is always on hand to offer a value bet. As well as a passion for Football (UK and European), he also has in-depth Tennis, Boxing, Snooker and Basketball knowledge.