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Leaky Hoops to avoid upset? Get Celtic v CFR Cluj tips

Leigh Copson 12 Aug 2019
Ryan Christie of Celtic (credit:Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images)

Celtic v CFR Cluj predictions for the Champions League qualifier on Tuesday, August 13. Can Scottish champions Celtic book their place in the play-off round of Champions League qualifying, putting them two games away from the group stage? Read on for all of our free betting tips and predictions.

Celtic v CFR Cluj

Celtic’s blistering start to the new Scottish Premiership season continued last weekend as they took their goal tally to 12 and made it two wins from two games. Having opened up with a 7-0 smashing of St Johnstone, the Hoops had a little more trouble dispatching Motherwell on Saturday as they fell behind on 12 minutes, but they hauled themselves level almost immediately and never looked back on their way to a 5-2 victory at Fir Park. Now they will be hoping their free-scoring form crosses over onto the European front as they look to advance to the last round of Champions League qualifying.

Celtic are hosting Romanian champions CFR Cluj in the second leg of their third qualifying round tie clash, and the match is evenly poised after the two teams played out a 1-1 draw a week ago. Goalkeeper Scott Bain was the star of the show as he made several saves to deny Cluj, but he could not keep them out all night and that meant Neil Lennon’s side needed a James Forrest goal to cancel out Mario Rondon’s opener and ensure that they returned home on level terms. And perhaps they now have a slight edge in the tie with that away goal in the bank.

“CFR Cluj scored a great goal on the counter attack and our reaction to the goal was superb,” Lennon told BBC Scotland afterwards. “It's a great result. We looked really dangerous. Obviously, the away goal's priceless. James Forrest is a big game player. He's come up again with a really important goal.”

The Celtic chief also admitted that his new-look defence is a ‘work in progress’ and having seen them concede twice more at the weekend there will be a few concerns that Cluj could grab an away goal of their own at Celtic Park and diminish the potential importance of Forrest’s first-leg strike. I certainly would not be surprised to see Cluj find the back of the net in Glasgow, but ultimately I am confident that Celtic will complete the job and edge ever closer to the lucrative group stage of the Champions League.

They are in sensational form in front of goal right now and now that they are back on their home patch they will almost certainly produce a much better showing than the one they mustered in Romania a week ago. They will be aggressive, create chances and take at least two of them as they march on in Europe and extend their unbeaten start to the 2019/20 season.

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Leaky Hoops to avoid upset? Get Celtic v CFR Cluj tips

Celtic v CFR Cluj predictions for the Champions League qualifier on Tuesday, August 13.

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