Celtic v Alashkert: Job done but home fans expect a performance

Striker Odsonne Edouard
Record transfer Odsonne Edouard scored first last week
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Celtic take a 3-0 lead back to Parkhead and the locals can play without fear. Betfair's Scottish football writer Frankie Monkhouse looks at how you can profit from this Champions League qualifier...

"The Yellows weren’t expected to test Celtic last week and, with all due respect to them, they didn’t get near causing an upset on their own patch"

Celtic v Alashkert
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Premier Sports

Celtic kickstarted their quest for a place in the Champions League group stages with a comfortable win over Alashkert in the searing heat of Yerevan. The Scottish champions lacked match sharpness but had more than enough quality in their ranks to ease to a comfortable 3-0 first-leg win thanks to goals from record-signing Edouard, Forrest and McGregor.

It took The Hoops 46 minutes to break the deadlock and added the other two in the last 10 minutes of the match in testing conditions, but they're expected to tidy things up in front of their own fans on Wednesday evening at Parkhead.

3-0 on aggregate and the level of opposition suggests the job is done and manager Brendan Rodgers is expected to dip into his squad to give fringe players and youth a chance to pick-up vital Champions League experience. Traders can't see past a Celtic win meaning backers must work a bit harder to land a share of the value.

Tie beyond Alashkert as they travel to Glasgow

The Yellows weren't expected to test Celtic last week and, with all due respect to them, they didn't get near causing an upset on their own patch and will surely admit the tie is now beyond them heading to Glasgow. Alashkert failed to beat Craig Gordon in front of less than 5,000 spectators and the fact they never really troubled the Scottish shot-stopper suggests fans will have nothing to cheer in midweek.

The pre-match odds say it's a matter of predicting how many goals Celtic will score and the fact there's no more than 3/10 available at the start of the week on no in the both teams to score market tells its own story. 1/3 on the away team failing to score will surely be popular with big-hitters or those looking to build a Champions League multiple. Both prices can be found on the Betfair Sportsbook.

Punters forced into the specials

Celtic don't need to win on Wednesday night but Betfair traders have them nailed down as 1/20 favourites and it's difficult to argue against that stance. They want nothing to do with opposing Scott Brown and co against the Armenians, so we're left scratching around for a better price in the specials. 50/1 the visitors or 11/1 a draw. Stranger things have happened in football, but not many.

Looking through the handicap betting and Celtic -2 goals appeals at a handy 5/6 (Sportsbook). We expect a much-changed squad from last week with a number of first team regulars given the night off, but the home support will demand a polished performance and they're sure to get it. 4/11 the win to nil will do a job in accas.

We expect more of the same

Followers of our preview in the first match were advised to back over 2.5 goals in the contest at even money and came close to landing a cracking 11/1 pay-out on a 3-1 correct score. We gave the Armenians a little more respect than they deserved but aim for something similar in the return.

Alashkert know the game is beyond them so will surely look to tighten things up and save face at Celtic Park. We don't think they'll manage it against an opponent eager to build confidence and get up to full speed as quickly as possible.

Celtic to win and three or four goals scored in the match should give us something to cheer at 6/5 while another 3-0 is 4/1, both Sportsbook quotes.

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