Champions League Qualifying Second-Leg Previews


The Champions League qualifiers provide the first bout of competitive football action for punters suffering post-World Cup football withdrawal symptoms.

The second legs of the first-round ties take place across Tuesday and Wednesday evening as the clubs involved begin a marathon eight-game stretch that will end with places amongst the cash-rich group stage in the autumn.

Celtic -2 @ 10/13

For Scottish champions Celtic this is a new experience, even by their standards. The Hoops have safely negotiated three rounds of qualifying in the last two seasons under Brendan Rodgers but now must overcome four.

The Bhoys have already got at least one foot in the next stage, having come home from Armenia with a 3-0 win last week over Alashkert. It looks a formality for Celtic back in Glasgow and they are arguably decent value at 10/13 conceding a two-goal start in this game.

Rodgers elected to deploy the twin threat of Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard in attack last week and the French duo will fancy their chances of finding their range on home soil against limited opponents. Celtic are capable of running in a tally in this one.

Rosenborg to qualify @ 10/19

Hoops fans will be keeping their eyes peeled intently on events in Trondheim as Rosenborg seek to overturn a shock 1-0 loss against Icelandic minors Valur from their first leg.

The winners will meet Celtic in the next round, assuming the latter doesn’t suffer a monumental collapse. Rodgers knows all about Rosenborg from last season when Celtic slipped through with a slender margin.

The Celtic manager may not admit as much but he’d relish seeing Valur, 5/4 to qualify, make it through.

Rosenborg are long odds-on for the second-leg win and should have enough in their locker to overturn the one-goal disadvantage. They look solid at 10/19 to take their place in the next stage.

Astana have picked up decent experience at this level of qualifying and, having overcome Montenegrin side Sutjeska at home, they may be able to prevail again at odds of 5/6 in the second leg on Wednesday evening.

On Tuesday, the trio of Ludogorets, Red Star Belgrade and Legia Warsaw should account for Crusaders, Cork City and Spartaks Jurmala respectively without great trouble, with the treble paying out at 10/21.

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