CELTIC have done the hard work – or at least that’s what it says on the tin.
A 1-1 draw in Astana last week was a real bonus and Brendan Rodgers’s side are no bigger than 1-4 at bet365 to qualify.
It’s incredibly short but as one Hoops fan told me “Astana can’t beat us – but we can beat ourselves”.
By that he means cut out the defensive disasters that were so costly against Malmo last season and it should be plain sailing into the play-offs.
Kolo Toure is available but from what Rodgers is saying he isn’t likely to start so Efe Ambrose will need to be on his best behaviour.
Celtic defeated Shakhter Karagandy 3-0 when the Kazaks visited Glasgow and Astana are equally ropey travellers with no wins in eight matches.
The Glasgow side performed well in spells against Barcelona on Saturday and I expect them to win at a best 4-6 (Coral) but bookies are giving little away.
Two goals may be needed to win on the night and Celtic to score two plus pays 20-23 at boylesports.
Astana need to score and are 3-4 at boylesports to do so while both teams to score is 23-20 at betfair. If Ambrose starts anything is possible.
Leigh Griffiths netted in Astana and against Barca and is 7-2 at Paddy Power to break the deadlock tonight.
Griffiths apart it’s Patrick Roberts rather than Moussa Dembele who looks the biggest threat and the Man City loan star is 7-1 at Paddy Power to score first.
Celtic to score 2+
Griffiths to score first