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The UEFA Champions League is one of the premier football tournaments in the world and before the main tournament starts, there is a qualifying round to get through to decide the final 32 teams.

UEFA Champions League Qualifying
Celtics AH-2 to beat Lincoln Red Imps @ 1.93 (Bet365) – 2.5 points

Celtic come into this qualifying round with the new manager Brendan Rodgers taking part in his first competitive encounter against Lincoln Red Imps side from Gibraltar. They have now played 4 friendlies over the last 12 days prior to this in order to get the side as ready as they can to playing this stage of the tournament. Celtic have most of their squad from last year intact other than a few usual old age and poor performer clearances. The team have added Moussa Dembele, the french forward who plied his trade with Fulham last year, and his 15 goals in 43 games showing from last year should give Celtic a boost. Rodgers will aim to start him up front along with stalwart Leigh Griffiths up front, to give Celtic a strong forward line. Celtic will take pride in knowing they haven’t lost a single friendly game despite the rotations and will look forward to backing up the team with a good solid showing tonight.

Lincoln Red Imps dominate in what is usually an easy league for them in Gibraltar, winning 14 out of the last 15 league titles in this Millennium. However, they have not had much success in this stage of the tournament, usually getting knocked out in the 2nd round of the tournament at best when they face teams with far superior quality than them. They lost to FC Midtjylland last year by a score of 3-0 on aggregate and they were a far better side than the scoreline suggests. The team will rely a lot on their artificial pitch to try and help them un a non-smooth game as Celtic are usually used to.

Celtic look an extremely strong team on paper, with Brendan Rodgers knowing that qualifying to the first round proper is one of his key targets for the season, and he will be looking to put in a rousing performance in this encounter. I expect Celtic to put in a solid performance and win by a couple of goals.


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