Our football match prediction:
Celtic set up a meeting with Astana in the Champions League play-offs by beating the likes of Linfield and Rosenborg. The Hoops have been scoring goals for fun at the start of the season and they are certainly brimming with confidence ahead of Wednesday’s football game against Astana. Brendan Rodgers is obviously doing a great job with the capital club and seeing that the Kazakhs are not regarded as good travelers, we predict that the Scottish champions are going to win the first leg. Astana have eliminated the likes of Spartaks Jurmala and Legia Warszawa on their way to the Champions League play-offs, but Celtic are likely to pose a much bigger threat for Stanimir Stoilov’s men than their previous rivals. Celtic fans are likely to pack Celtic Park on Wednesday evening and, taking everything into account, we are tempted to put our money on Brendan Rodgers’ troops.
Highlighted Player (Mikael Lustig):
Long-serving Celtic soldier Michael Lustig has been with The Bhoys since 2012. The Swedish international has made more than 140 appearances for the Scottish club. The experienced 29-year-old defender is also a full international for Sweden since 2008 and a member of his country’s team that has participated at the 2016 European Championship finals in France. Internationally experienced defender also took part at Euro 2012 and his vast experience is of crucial importance for Celtic. Lustig began his career at Umea FC and had also played for GIF Sundsvall and Rosenborg BK before his move to Scotland. Mikael Lusting has endured mixed fortunes throughout his four-year career with Celtic, predominantly due to various injury spells that kept him out of play. First choice for Celtic manager(s) whenever he is fully fit, the Swedish defender is praised for his hard work, stamina and physical ability, despite his most recent struggles with muscle injuries.
Highlighted Team (FC Astana):
Astana are a professional football club based in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Blue and Yellows were founded in 2009 and five years later they won their first Kazakhstan Premier League trophy. Astana managed to defend their title in 2015, with the team finishing the season just one point clear of Kairat in the standings. The Kazakhs participated in the Champions League group stages in the 2015/2016 season, but they failed to record a win in the elite competition. However, it has to be noted that they managed to hold star-studded Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in front of home fans. Astana play their home games at Astana Arena and the capacity of the venue is 30 244. The stadium was opened on 3 July, 2009 and the construction cost $185 million. Astana’s home kits are yellow with blue strips and they play their away games in navy-blue kits. The team recorded their biggest win on 19 June, 2011 when they outclassed Kairat 6-1 in the Kazakhstan Premier League.