AEK Athens vs Celtic
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 14 August 2018
Kick-off: 20:00 CET
AEK Athens earned themselves a big draw in Glasgow last week, that has turned them into favorites to qualify. They conceded first, in the 17th minute, but seconds before the end of the first half they made it 1-1. Twelve minutes into the second half they were left with 10 men, and that’s when the really hard started. Somehow, they managed to avoid conceding a second goal, with their success being even more admirable considering that it was their first official match of the season. The championship in Greece hasn’t started yet, and they didn’t have to play in the first two qualifying rounds of the Champions League. Kostas Galanopoulos, the 20-year-old central midfielder who got sent-off last week, is obviously unavailable.
Expecting, deep down, AEK to score in Glasgow, I suggested Celtic’s win and that combined with “over 2.5” as well, which looked very probable, especially the moment AEK were reduced to 10 men. Celtic finished the game on 18 attempts (AEK had seven), but… that second goal for the Scots, never came. Center-forward Moussa Dembélé wasn’t expected to fly to Athens, but he did(!). He has been dealing with an injury for some time, he missed the first leg, didn’t play last weekend either, but the importance of this match made him come back earlier than expected. Celtic lost 1-0 at Hearts on Saturday, in their championship. The winner of this tie will face Malmo or MOL Vidi in the Europa League playoffs. The loser with play against Spartaks Jurmala or Suduva in the Europa League playoffs.
Previous five matches:
Celtic vs AEK Athens 1-1
AEK Athens vs Galatasaray 3-2
Atromitos vs AEK Athens 0-0
AEK Athens vs AEK Larnaca 0-0
Miedź Legnica vs AEK Athens 1-0
Hearts vs Celtic 1-0
Celtic vs AEK Athens 1-1
Celtic vs Livingston 3-1
Rosenborg vs Celtic 0-0
Celtic vs Rosenborg 3-1
AEK’s next game is in 10 days, in Greece’s championship. Celtic are visiting Partick Thistle on Saturday (Scotland League Cup).
AEK Athens vs Celtic: Head to head Stats
Last week’s game was the first ever between these two.
AEK Athens vs Celtic: Prediction
Interestingly, Celtic are considered slight favorites to win the game, but AEK are seen by bookies as slight favorites to qualify(!). I’m leaving winners and losers aside, focusing on goals.
AEK Athens vs Celtic: Betting Tips
“Under 2.5” is not paying more than 1.53. I would risk with “under 1.5”, at 2.62. Who I expect to qualify? Whoever scored first. I really doubt there will be more than one goal in this game. Deep down, I expect a goalless draw, and AEK to be in the CL playoffs (their double chance is at 1.50).