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Hoops to avoid another Euro exit? Get AIK v Celtic tips

Leigh Copson 26 Aug 2019
Celtic (credit:Jeff Holmes/PA Wire/PA Images)

AIK v Celtic predictions for the Europa League qualifier on Thursday, August 29. Celtic crashed out of Champions League qualifying earlier this month – can they avoid the same fate when they visit Sweden for the second leg of their Europa League qualifier with AIK? Read on for all of our free betting tips and predictions.

READ MORE: Get our free Rangers v Legia Warsaw betting tips.

AIK v Celtic

Celtic’s response to a supposed early-season ‘mini crisis’ has been a strong one. The Hoops were left reeling when they suffered an embarrassing home defeat to CFR Cluj that sent them crashing out of the Champions League qualifiers, and things did not get a great deal better when they needed extra-time to beat Championship side Dunfermline Athletic in the League Cup a few days later. Fans vented their anger at the board, accusing them of ‘downsizing’ and risking their quest for 10 consecutive Scottish titles, but they at least got the response they wanted on the pitch last week.

Celtic maintained their perfect Scottish Premiership record with a 3-1 home win over Hearts at the weekend, but prior to that they took command of their Europa League qualifier with Swedish side AIK by running out 2-0 winners at Celtic Park. The visitors set out to frustrate the Scottish champions in the hope of returning home in a strong position in the tie but their stubborn resistance was broken three minutes into the second half when James Forrest fired home, and Odsonne Edouard then wrapped up the victory with his strike 17 minutes from time. The Hoops could have had more too, but a 2-0 victory on the back of a couple of poor showings was just what the doctor ordered.

“The only complaint was we didn't get more goals,” Lennon told BBC Scotland afterwards. “It was a great performance from everyone. Two great goals, a clean sheet as well. On the back of a difficult week for the players they've come up trumps again. It'll suit us [having AIK need to attack in search of goals]. It's a decent lead, but we're capable of scoring over there and that's important."

So having crashed out of one European competition during qualifying, can Celtic avoid the same fate here? Of course they will. AIK are not going to be a complete pushover, but they managed to stay in the first leg for 48 minutes thanks to a defensive approach that they simply cannot afford to take here. AIK need to win 2-0 just to force extra time and if they concede a goal then they will be in a world of trouble. Lennon is right, AIK’s need for goals will suit Celtic down to the ground and I expect them to punish their hosts for going on the offensive, running out winners to book their place in the group stage in the best possible fashion.

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Hoops to avoid another Euro exit? Get AIK v Celtic tips

AIK v Celtic predictions for the Europa League qualifier on Thursday, August 29.

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