Celtic vs Astana: TV channel, stream, kick-off time, odds & Champions League play-off preview

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Brendan Rodgers' Bhoys take on a familiar foe in the final qualifying stage for a place in the group stage of Europe's premier club competition

Celtic will be aiming to take one step closer to the Champons League group stage on when they renew acquaintance with Astana in the first leg of the play-off round on Wednesday.

The Scottish champions came up against their Kazakh counterparts in the same competition last season, with the Hoops triumphing 3-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round clash.

Brendan Rodgers' side are unbeaten in the 2017-18 season so far, with only Rosenborg managing to hold the Glasgow side scoreless, and they will hope to carry that form into the game.

Game Celtic vs Astana
Date Wednesday, August 16
Time 19:45 BST

TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM


James Forrest, Celtic

In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 2 and by via online stream using the BT Sport app.

UK TV channel Online stream
BT Sport 2 BT Sport App

In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on Fox Sports 2, as well as being available to stream online using Fox Sports GO.

US TV channel Online stream
Fox Sports 2 Fox Sports GO

SQUAD & TEAM NEWS


Position Celtic players
Goalkeepers Gordon, de Vries
Defenders Simunovic, Bitton, Tierney, Lustig, Ajer, Ralston, Miller, Boyata, Sviatchenko, Gamboa
Midfielders Brown, Sinclair, Armstrong, Hayes, Ntcham, Benyu, McGregor, Forrest, Henderson, Kouassie
Forwards Rogic, Griffiths, Dembele, Nesbitt, Miller, Aitchison, Cifti

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Celtic will be without their star forward Moussa Dembele, who remains sidelined with a hamstring problem, while defenders Dedryk Boyata and Eric Sviatchenko have knee injuries.

Leigh Griffiths was a second-half substitute in last weekend's 1-0 win over Partick Thistle, but the Scotland international is in line to feature from the start against Astana.

Potential starting XI: Gordon; Lustig, Simunovic, Bitton, Tierney; Brown, Ntcham, Sinclair, Armstrong, Hayes; Griffiths

Position Astana players
Goalkeepers Eric, Mokin, 
Defenders Shitov, Anicic, Beisebekov, Logvinenko, Postnikov, Shomko, Maliy, Shaikov
Midfielders Kleinheisler, Muzhikov, Grahovac, Tomasov, Tagybergen, Mayewski, Sagnayev, Zhakipbayev
Forwards Despotovic, Twumasi, Kabananga, Murtazayev, Prokopenko, Pron

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Werder Bremen midfielder Laszlo Kleinheisler is currently on loan at Astana, but the Hungary international may have to make do with a place on the bench against Celtic.

Astana boss Stanimir Stoilov has indicated that there are concerns over Yevgeny Postnikov, who may miss the game due to injury.

One player Celtic will have to pay particular attention to is Democratic Republic of Congo international Junior Kabananga, who is the club's leading scorer this season with 15 league goals.

Potential starting XI: Eric; Logvinenko, Shitov, Shomko, Beisebekov; Tomasov, Mayewski, Grahovac, Muzhikov; Kabananga, Murtazayev


BETTING & MATCH ODDS


Leigh Griffiths, Celtic

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Celtic are 4/9 favourites to triumph in the first leg, according to dabblebet, with odds of 6/1 attached to an Astana victory. A draw at Celtic Park is considered a 10/3 bet.

Leigh Griffiths is the favourite to open the scoring at 11/4, with Scott Sinclair following at 7/2 and James Forrest commanding odds of 5/1. Astana's Junior Kabananga is 8/1 to score first.


GAME PREVIEW


Brendan Rodgers Celtic

Having come up against Astana in Champions League qualifiers last season, Celtic are already somewhat familiar with their opponents, but that does not make their task much easier.

Rodgers has described the Kazakh side as "tough" opponents and he is aware of the importance of making the home leg count, after being held to a 1-1 draw in the away leg in July 2016.

"The first game is important," Rodgers told the Scotsman. "At home, the atmosphere has been absolutely incredible in the Champions League games in particular so we’ll need that on Wednesday night. We’ll see if we can get a positive result to take over there the following week."

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The absence of Dembele and Sviatchenko, as well as niggling injuries to Griffiths, have forced the Celtic boss to reshuffle his squad in recent fixtures, but the changes have not had an effect on results, with the likes of Olivier Ntcham and Kieran Tierney stepping up their performances.

A league clash against Kilmarnock punctuates the tie against Astana, so, as well as securing a positive result, Rodgers will be hoping his players can come through the games unscathed.

Astana, meanwhile, possess much the same squad as that which succumbed to the Bhoys last term, but they are without Agim Ibraimi, who scored at Celtic Park last season, as well as key players Roger Canas and Azat Nurgaliyev. Nevertheless, they will be confident of springing an upset, having run the Glasgow outfit close in their last two meetings.

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