The greatest club competition in the world -the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE– is back with the qualifying round taking place tonight, and I have my eye on one game which looks to be a tough away European tie tonight. This is a preview of the UEFA Champions League qualifying round game between Qarabag and Celtic.
Celtic travel away to Qarabag already having stole a late winner for a 1-0 lead from the 1st leg, and will want to be positive to grab another victory to progress into the next round of qualifying. Ronnie Delia will be happy as his team also start of their defines of the Scottish Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Ross County in the opening game of the season.
The biggest issue in the lead up to this game has been the state of the pitch at Baku, which was deemed potentially un-fit to play on. Since then UEFA have issued their ruling that the pitch is fine to start the game, and Celtic were given permission to train on the pitch last night to get familiar with the conditions. The Scottish outfits ability to get to get used to the pitch and dictate the game, will completely determine in which direction this game will head in.
Qarabag’s biggest problem has been their offensive firepower that failed to register a single shot on target during the 1st leg; and this will not stand them in good stead heading in to this encounter with Celtic boasting a good defensive unit in Boyata, van Dijk, Izzaguire and Lustig with keeper Gordon behind them. Fair to say that Qarabag are rusty especially when their league season doesn’t kick off for another month. and they sneaked into this round with a narrow 1-0 away leg win in their previous round.
Celtic have put in solid performances in preseason and in their 2 competitive fixtures so far, so I expect them to put in a professional showing tonight also. I have backed them on the Draw No Bet market as an insurance policy just in case.