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Neil Lennon's side face a trip to Kazakhstan in the Champions League on Tuesday and Willie Duncan expects the home side to draw a blank against the Hoops in the first leg

Celtic face a trip into the unknown when they travel to Kazakhstan to face Shakhter Karagandy in the Champions League play-off round on Tuesday afternoon.

The Hoops maintained an unbeaten start to the campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon and Neil Lennon’s side are chalked up as 5/4 (2.25) favourites with William Hill to claim a first-leg advantage by beating Shakhter.

The home side are rated as a 23/10 (3.30) shot with William Hill to beat Celtic while the same firm offer 11/5 (3.20) that the first leg ends in stalemate.

Celtic are red hot favourites to progress into the group stages overall with William Hill making them a 1/4 (1.25) chance to qualify while Shakhter are available at 11/4 (3.75) to make it into the next round.

Neil Lennon’s side have yet to concede a goal in Europe during the campaign thus far so the 8/5 (2.60) available from William Hill for Celtic to keep a clean sheet carries plenty of appeal here while the 12/5 (3.40) quote from the same firm for the Hoops to win to nil is likely to prove popular with punters.

Kris Commons scored the goal that defeated Elfsborg in the last round and the former Derby County midfielder is great value at 11/2 (6.50) with William Hill to break the deadlock on Tuesday while Greece striker Georgios Samaras is also priced up at 11/2 (6.50) with the same firm.

This market should prove to be particularly appealing to William Hill customers given that should a first goalscorer selection score the second goal of the game, William Hill will refund the stake as a free bet.

Celtic are decent value at 5/4 (2.25) to claim a vital victory over Shakter but, given the Hoops’ solid defensive record, the recommended play is the juicy 8/5 (2.60) quote from William Hill for Neil Lennon’s side to keep a clean sheet on Tuesday afternoon.

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Celtic to win to nil at 8/5 (2.60) 2pts with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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