Celtic

Celtic vs CFR Cluj

, KO: 19:45 Aug 13, 2019, Celtic Park
CFR Cluj

SOME Celtic fans were far from happy when Neil Lennon was confirmed as Brendan Rodgers' permanent successor but his side's storming start to the new campaign has won over almost all of the doubters.

Performances were unconvincing in Lennon's spell as interim boss but that was because the Irishman chose to tweak, rather than rip up, the blueprint of his predecessor to get them over the line for the treble Treble.

Having had a pre-season to implement his own ideas and bring in his own players, this is now Lennon's side and the signs are pretty promising.

Twelve goals have been scored in the first two Premiership games while progress has been pretty serene so far in the Champions League qualifiers.

Sarajevo and Nomme Kalju were seen off with ease and James Forrest's priceless away goal against Cluj has put the Hoops in the driving seat for a place in the play-off round.

Like in Sarajevo, Celtic fell behind thanks to some poor defending but bounced back quickly to ease any nerves. Cluj didn't impress me much in that 1-1 draw and I would be surprised if the Scottish champions failed to finish the job back at Parkhead.

The only downside for the Hoops in Romania was the display of new signing Boli Bolingoli Mbombo. The Belgian, signed as a replacement for Arsenal-bound Kieran Tierney, was caught out for the Cluj opener and it set the tone for an error-strewn performance.

He started poorly again at Motherwell on Saturday and although he improved to earn praise from Lennon, his lack of confidence and form will be a concern for the Euro return.

Lennon wants to bring in another left-back but has no option but to play Bolingoli there again for the Cluj clash and the Romanians will no doubt target him down that flank.

They could get some joy so I like the look of a Celtic win with both teams to score, which is 10/3 with Bet365. Both teams to score came up for me in the first leg and a Parkhead repeat is 13/10 with Boylesports.

Jozo Simunovic, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Mikey Johnston are back from injury for the Euro clash, having sat out the 5-2 victory at Fir Park.

That gives Lennon a selection headache but I'm expecting him to field a similar team to the first leg, although Johnston could return for Lewis Morgan on the left wing. If the youngster starts he could be a good pick for anytime scorer at 5/2 with Paddy Power.

Defender Kris Ajer has two goals to his name already this season and might feature at right-back again if Elhamed doesn't play. He's 16/1 with Paddy Power in the anytime scorer market and could be worth a flutter.

There were five bookings in the first leg and Cluj looked a pretty physical side so you could get some joy in the card markets. Forrest looked to have the beating of Cluj left-back Camora in Romania so I'll be on a card for the Portuguese at 2/1 with Coral.

This match between Celtic and CFR Cluj will be played on Aug 13, 2019 and kick off at 19:45

Celtic vs CFR Cluj Betting Tips & Predictions
Celtic win with both teams to score
10/3
Bet365
Kris Ajer anytime scorer
16/1
PaddyPower
Camora to be shown a card
2/1
Coral

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