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Bhoys to progress after tight Trondheim tussle

Bhoys to progress after tight Trondheim tussle

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Rosenborg gave Celtic a scare in last week’s first leg and Brendan Rodgers’ side will have to be wary of the Norwegian side in Wednesday’s second leg if they are to reach the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

Birger Meling had fired the visitors a shock lead in Glasgow and that away goal could still prove to be decisive.

However, a brace from Edouard and Olivier Ntcham’s strike has given the Scottish champions the advantage and they should be able to finish the job off in Trondheim and set up a two-legged encounter against AEK Athens in the next round.

Celtic 23/10 to draw against Rosenborg

Most of this week’s other ties are finely balanced although Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade have already all but confirmed their places in the third qualifying round.

Arijan Ademi scored twice as Croatian champions Dinamo thumped Hapoel Be’er Sheva 5-0 in last week’s first leg and it will be a damage-limitation exercise for the Israeli team in the second clash.

Serbian youngster Nemanja Radonjic, who has been on the books of Roma, also scored twice last week as Red Star Belgrade eased to a 3-0 victory against the Lithuanian outfit Suduva, who have little chance of hitting back in the second leg.

HJK Helsinki 7/4 to beat BATE Borisov

However, the other ties are evenly poised with HJK Helsinki on course to cause a shock by knocking BATE Borisov out.

The Finnish side are midway through their domestic season and Saturday’s 2-1 victory against FC Honka was their third win in a row and maintained their position at the head of the Veikkausliiga.

They easily beat Vikingur Gota 5-2 on aggregate in the first round of the Champions League and have the ability to get the better of Belarusian champions BATE on home soil.

Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol are far better at home than on their travels and they can reach the next round after only losing the first leg of their tie to Shkendija 1-0 in Macedonia.

Shkendija contrived to lose 4-0 at TNS in the previous round after thrashing the Welsh side 5-0 at home and could capitulate again away from their own Ecolog Arena.

Spartak Trnava 5/2 to keep a clean sheet against Legia

Polish football is in a poor state at the moment but it was still a surprise to see Legia Warsaw beaten 2-0 at home by Spartak Trnava.

Legia were knocked out of last season’s Europa League by Sheriff Tiraspol but still managed to win the Polish League once again.

However, a home loss to the Slovakian champions shows how far Polish domestic football has fallen and it is difficult to see anything but another loss for Legia in Trnava.

Midtjylland 25/4 to beat Astana 1-0

Midtjylland can make their away goal count when they entertain Astana on Wednesday.

The Danish side surprised their Kazakhstan hosts by taking the lead in last week’s first leg thanks to Gustav Wikheim’s goal and, although Astana hit back to win the match 2-1, Midtjylland can edge to victory on Wednesday, possibly by a single goal.

Ajax were a little fortunate to triumph 2-0 against Sturm Graz last week and the Austrian team’s positive approach to the first leg shows that they should not be written off in the second encounter between the two teams.

Ajax are a shadow of the side that have won the European Cup four times in the past but it should be remembered that they reached the Europa League final in 2016/17.

It could be a high-scoring encounter on Wednesday with the Dutch side riding their luck before moving into the third qualifying round and setting up another tricky test against Standard Liege.

The odds on over 4.5 goals being scored in Graz are 9/2.

Malmo clinched a creditable 1-0 victory in Romania against CFR Cluj last week and should be able to finish the job off in Sweden on Wednesday.

Carlos Strandberg netted the only goal in the first leg and the 22-year-old can help Malmo reach the next round although there may be a few twists and turns along the way. Malmo are 23/4 to win the second leg from behind.

Basel 33/4 to beat PAOK 2-0

One of the most surprising results in the first leg matches was Basel’s 2-1 loss to PAOK Salonika.

The Swiss outfit reached the round of 16 last season but have had to enter the 2018/19 competition at this stage after finishing second behind Young Boys in their domestic league.

It could have been an even better result for the Greek team as they had opened up a 2-0 advantage before Albian Afrim Ajeti grabbed an 82nd-minute goal for the visitors.

That goal could be crucial and Basel can take full advantage of their shock in Thessaloniki by winning the second leg and progressing to the next round.

Qarabag reached the group stage of the Champions League last season but the Azerbaijan outfit are finding goals very hard to come by this term.

After edging to a 1-0 aggregate victory against Olimpija Ljubljana in the first qualifying round, they had to settle for a goalless draw in last week’s first leg in Albania against Kukesi,

It may be another tight affair this time with a 1-0 victory for Qarabag good value at 15/4.

Ludogorets 19/4 to beat MOL Vidi 1-0

Finally, MOL Vidi produced a battling display in Bulgaria last week when they held Ludogorets Razgrad to a goalless draw.

However, the Bulgarian champions have performed well in Europe recently and can win the second leg in Hungary.

Ludogorets reached the group stage of the Champions League in 2014/15 and 2016/17 and progressed to the last 32 of the Europa League last term, only to suffer a 4-0 aggregate defeat to AC Milan.

It will be tight in Szekesfehervar but Ludogorets have the ability to get the better of the Hungarian champions.

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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.