Celtic vs Alashkert
Celtic didn't look completely fluid and extremely convincing in the first leg, but the Scottish side did what was needed and walked away with more than comfortable 3:0 victory away to Yereven against Alashkert in the first leg.
It wasn't an easy trip for them and actually the field wasn't that good, but the players of Celtic took the lead just when it was needed the most - in second minute of added time in the first halftime via Edouard. Hosts were dangerous on counters, but paid the price at the back as Celtic dominated the game with ball possession and sealed the victory in last ten minutes of the game. Forrest and McGregor were the goal scorers in 81st and 90th minute.
Since Celtic is (almost) already progressed further, we should say that they will be playing in the second qualifying round against the winner of Rosenborg vs Valur pair. Celtic didn't look very convincing at the start of preparations, but their last two matches have improved the image overall. Shamrock Rovers was defeated 7:0, while they also won over Standard Liege 4:1 on Saturday evening as mostly players who didn't play in Armenie were used.
Leigh Griffiths remains sidelined, while Scott Brown now has recovered fully and should be playing from the first minute. Not a lot of transfer movement is seen till now, as the Scottish side signed striker Odsonne Edouard from PSG earlier in July.
Alashkert took the title deservedly in Armenia last season, ending with six points more than second placed Banants Yerevan. However, fourteen victories, eight draws and eight defeats is anything but a dominant season no matter the quality of the league. Moreover, they lost the Cup finals against Gandzasar, side that ended third in the league.
As for the first leg game, even though it was obvious Celtic wasn't at their best, it was also obvious that the Armenians can't compete with them and that their quality is far below pair for this stage of Champions League qualifiers. The side will continue their presence in Europe in second qualifying round of Europa League meeting the losing side of Sutjeska vs Astana game (0:1 first leg).
There are no much known players in their tea with the most roster. They have few Serbian guys, alongside with some Brazilians and one player from Russia, Slovakia and Mexico each.
Scottish side didn't look very well in the first leg, but some improvement is obvious in their recent matches and they have won with ease anyway. Quality difference is huge here and whoever plays tomorrow, should give his best to earn the place in the starting lineup. There shouldn't be much rotation in the home team since they need the games in order to start playing as fluid as possible.
Celtic vs Alashkert prediction
Celtic -2.5 Asian handicap @ 1.75 with Pinnacle