Celtic vs AEK Athens preview, betting tips and prediction: A home victory will be crucial to Celtic’s progress in the Champions League

Mikael Lustig for Celtic in Champions League - Free Bets UK
Share this on

Recommended Bet

Team to Win






Top Champions League Free Bets

  • 10/1 Liverpool to Win Claim Betting Offers for the Champions League and Bet on the Winner £30 T&Cs Apply
    18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.
  • £30 Champions League Free Bets Enjoy Champions League Betting with Betfred and Claim some Free Bets £30 T&Cs Apply
    Only available to new customers from UK & Northern Ireland. You must stake £10 or more on a Sportsbook market at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Offer not available to customers registering on 14/04/2018. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Betfred.com will credit your account with a free bet of £30 within 48 hours of your first bet settled, awarded in the currency that your account is held in. Free Bet will expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.
  • Betfair Free Bet Bet on the Champions League Winner 2018/19 Put your Bet on the Champions League Winner and Claim £100 Free Bets £100 T&Cs Apply
    New customer offer, max stake €1, all winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/PayPal count, Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C's Apply.
  • Betway Free Bets for Champions League 9/1 on Bayern Munich to Win the Champions League 2018/19 £30 T&Cs Apply
    New Customers Only. Min Deposit: £/€10. 3.1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. 4.Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only 5.Additional Terms Apply
  • Bwin Free Bet Champions League Free Bets from Bwin Bet on the UEFA Champions League with Bwin and Enjoy some Free Bets on the way £10 Back-up T&Cs Apply
    Min deposit £10, Max stake £10, Min Odds 1/1 (2.0); Max free bet £10; New players only; +18; T&Cs apply

Celtic negotiated their way through a potentially tricky tie at Rosenborg in the last Champions League qualifying round in a masterful fashion, grinding out a dull goalless draw. That dogged approach sapped their opponents of spirit and inspiration and ensured that progress was secured.

It was never a foregone conclusion considering how poorly Celtic have travelled in Europe in recent seasons – this was the 27th European away game they had failed to win since the start of the 2013/14 season. And yet those seasons have brought modest reward and it’s in large part thanks to the atmosphere they create inside the fortress known as Celtic Park. If they are to get through against AEK Athens then it will almost certainly be on the back of a positive result at home. It is essential ahead of a traditionally tough tie in Greece.

AEK Athens in Champions League 2018/19 - Free Bets UK

AEK, champions of the Greek Superleague last term, will pose a bigger threat than Rosenborg did. Their title win was built on the back of an exceptionally strong defense – they conceded only 12 goals in their 30 fixtures – that Celtic will struggle to break down. Their top scorer, Sergio Araujo, has returned to his parent club Las Palmas after a successful spell in Greece. His 21 goals in all competitions were crucial to AEK’s success. They were incredibly close to completing a domestic double, losing the Greek Cup final 2-0 to PAOK.

Team news

Olivier Ntcham is a doubt for the game after picking up an ankle injury in Celtic’s 3-1 opening day victory over newly-promoted SPL side Livingston over the weekend. Both the player and Rodgers are confident that he’ll be fit for the crucial tie. Moussa Dembele also has a question mark over his fitness. Mikael Lustig is back available after performing heroics for Sweden at the World Cup.

Both Dmitry Tsigrinski and Yorgas Yanutsos are long-term absentees for AEK. A fresher worry will be the injury that befell star striker Ezequiel Ponce on the training ground. The Argentina U20 striker, on loan from AS Roma, received a cut to his face and had to have several stitches. He may take to the field sporting a protective face mask.

Place your bet