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Humbled Hoops to get back on track? Get Celtic v AIK tips

Leigh Copson 18 Aug 2019
Celtic (credit:Jeff Holmes/PA Wire/PA Images)

Celtic v AIK predictions for the Europa League qualifier on Thursday, August 22. Last week was a pretty miserable one for Celtic – can they bounce back to put one foot in the group stage of the Europa League? Read on for all of our free betting tips and predictions.

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

Celtic v AIK

The 2019/20 season is only several weeks old but already there is something of a mini-crisis engulfing Celtic. The board have been heavily criticised for a lack of investment during the summer transfer window and while the £25million fee they received for Kieran Tierney was good business, it has not yet been invested back into the squad. Then, to make matters worse, the Hoops suffered an embarrassing home defeat to Romanian side CFR Cluj that dumped them out of Champions League qualifying, so the last thing they needed was an underwhelming performance and result against Championship side Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish League Cup. That is what they got though, with James Forrest’s deflected extra-time strike sparing their blushes at Celtic Park.

Supporters made their feelings known at the match with a banner that read, “This is how it feels to be Celtic, downsizing again as you know. The Celtic board are gambling 10 in a row”, and who could blame them. The Hoops have dominated Scottish football for the best part of a decade now and came into this season looking to complete a fourth consecutive domestic treble and the ninth step in the quest for a record-setting 10 Scottish titles in a row. While they have stormed out of the blocks in the league, steam-rollering over both St Johnstone and Motherwell, their recent dip has caused a great deal of alarm, especially with bitter rivals Rangers looking sharp early on.

So can Celtic stop the rot with a positive performance and result when they drop into the Europa League on Thursday night? Providing the opposition are Swedish side AIK, who have also bowed out of the Champions League at the qualifying stages this season. Rikard Norling’s side suffered away goals agony at the hands of Slovenian champions Maribor, but they rebounded to battle past Moldovan outfit Sheriff in the previous round of Europa League qualifying and they would love nothing more than to add to Celtic’s struggles here.

The timing of the Swedish season means they go into the match with plenty of competitive football under their belts and they are now unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions. They have won their last three on the road, but Celtic are clearly a step up from the opposition they have been facing so I do not believe there is too much you can read into that. Yes, Celtic have been poor recently and boss Neil Lennon has made some very questionable tactical decisions, like playing Callum McGregor at full-back, but I am not about to suddenly write them off. They have more than enough quality to get the better of AIK here and while it may not make for pretty viewing, I am confident that Celtic will at least avoid another home howler in European football this season. 

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Humbled Hoops to get back on track? Get Celtic v AIK tips

Celtic v AIK predictions for the Europa League qualifier on Thursday, August 22.

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