Celtic v AEK Athens Betting Tips & Preview – Wednesday 8th August 2018

This preview is from our archives. For current previews see our main football tips page here.

Previous Match Tips

Celtic moved into the third round of Champions League qualification after seeing off Rosenborg last week. Their next challenge is Greek outfit AEK Athens who fell at this stage last season when losing out to CSKA Moscow.

The winner of this clash will play either Malmo or Hungarian club, MOL Vidi. The latter will be a fresh challenge for Celtic but the Bhoys have some unfished business against the Swedish side after their high-profile defeat three years ago.

Top Tips

Celtic to win @ 8/11

Under 2.5 goals @ 3/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Celtic Form

Celtic avoided a tough draw to begin their Champions League qualification and they were the overwhelming favourites to eliminate Armenian side Alashkert. The Hoops won with expected ease in the end and this was despite playing most of the second leg a man down. The 6-0 aggregate win was separated by a fine friendly showing against Standard Liege. Brendan Rodgers’ men knocked four past their Belgian opponents, Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele both scoring during the impressive win.

Dembele was forced to sit out of the both legs against Rosenborg but fortunately his strike partner was at his best to make up for the loss. Edouard scored twice as Celtic fought from behind on home soil, handing his teammates a 3-1 lead to take to Norway with them. Rodgers would have wanted to see more in Trondheim but a slightly off pace performance wasn’t punished in the end. The Bhoys upped their game for Saturday’s league opener at least, dominating a Livingston side who had packed numbers behind the ball at Celtic Park.

Celtic v Livingston 4th August 2018 3-1 Win
Rosenborg v Celtic 1st August 2018 0-0 Draw
Celtic v Rosenborg 25th July 2018 3-1 Win

AEK Athens Form

By winning the Greek league, AEK Athens have gone straight into the third round of qualification for the Champions League. It was a season they almost didn’t win as the league was suspended by the Greek government but a little over two weeks later football resumed as normal. It was a strong campaign from the side from Athens but they are yet to face a competitive match since their cup final defeat in May. This is their first match of the new season and boss Marinos Ouzounidis will hope his men are up to speed.

Their pre-season didn’t get off to a flying start with a 1-0 defeat to Polish side Meidz Legnica but a bit of rust on their first outing can be excused. The Kitrinomavro failed to score in their next two matches but did at least shut out the opposition as they claimed back to back goalless draws. Ouzounidis would have been wanting to see more in attack when his men took on Galatasaray and the Greek manager got exactly that. AEK fired three past the side from Turkey as they wrapped up their pre-season in impressive fashion.

AEK Athens v Galatasaray 31st July 2018 3-2 Win
Atromitos v AEK Athens 21st July 2018 0-0 Draw
AEK Athens v AEK Larnaca 13th July 2018 0-0 Draw

Head to Head Stats

Celtic have never taken on AEK Athens before and this will be only their second ever meeting with a Greek club.

AEK are a little familiar with Scottish foe. They’ve three times previously faced a side from Scotland, most recently when beating Dundee United in the Europa League 2010/11 play-offs.

Injuries & Suspensions

Olivier Ntcham was hurt in the final stages of the 3-1 win over Livingston but he could return here, unlike some of his teammates.


  • Lewis Mogan - Ruled out with a knee injury.
  • Marvin Compper - Knee problem is also keeping the defender out of this match.
  • Dedryck Boyata - Complete the trio of Celtic players out with knee troubles.
  • Moussa Dembele - Back in training but very unlikely to be fit in time for Wednesday.
  • Olivier Ntcham - Looks set to beat the race to be fit after initially being a major doubt.

AEK Athens

  • Ezequiel Ponce - Suffered a nasty cut to his face in training, making him a doubt.
  • Dmytro Chygrynskiy - Could miss out with a small muscle injury.

Betting Tips

Celtic have on some many occasions won Champions League qualifiers thanks to a strong home leg and this looks like being no exception.

Celtic to win

Celtic beat the Norwegian champions in the last round and now it’s the turn of the Greek title holders. AEK pose a slightly stiffer challenge but not one that Celtic should succumb too. Brendan Rodgers is missing a few men but he’s got more than enough quality with Edouard up front, Rogic in behind and Ntcham offering the backline a shield alongside Scott Brown. They’ve looked like their old selves so far this season and there’s no reason to think they will put in an uncharacteristic performance on Wednesday.

Under 2.5 goals

The Celtic defence switched off in the dying moments against Livingston, the only dampener on an otherwise fine display. Rodgers will ensure his men stay far more focussed here though as a late strike can make such a difference in a two legged affair. AEK Athens tend to be rather dull when playing on the road in Europe. Quite incredibly, four of their last five competitive matches against European opposition have ended goalless so don’t expect a thriller at Celtic Park.

Celtic 1-0

AEK Athens shipped in just 12 league goals last season so it’s fair to say they are a robust defensive unit. They’ll come to Scotland looking to park the bus and while a clean sheet may be asking too much, they will ensure not too many chances fall the way of the hosts.

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