Champions League play-off: Celtic v Shakhter Karagandy match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Champions League play-off round second leg fixture at Celtic Park

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The Independent Football

Scottish champions Celtic play host to Kazakh minnows Shakhter Karagandy as they bid to become the first team from Kazakhstan to appear in the Champions League group stage following their shock 2-0 victory over the Hoops last week. Karagandy take their lead to Celtic Park after a controversial first-leg in which their sheep-sacrificing pre-match ritual caused outrage amongst animal rights groups.

Manager Viktor Kumyikov has stated that the ritual will be performed before the second-leg and counter-part Neil Lennon, who recently signed a new one-year rolling contract, has accused the Kazakh of showing a lack of respect following comments that his Karagandy side can score two goals at Celtic Park. Kumyikov has since labelled Celtic as favourites in the tie.

Celtic, who narrowly avoided defeat against Inverness in the SPL at the weekend, will be without Israeli international Beram Kayal but influential striker Georgios Samaras has passed himself fit to play after missing the 2-2 draw with a toe problem.


KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm



The teams have only met once in a competitive fixture; in last week’s first leg tie.

Shaktar Karagandy 2 Celtic FC 0: Champions League, August 2013



Both teams managed four shots on target in the first leg, with Shakter converting two.

Celtic had 61 per cent possession in the first leg.

Celtic had six corners to Shakter’s three in the first leg.

Shaktar Karagandy will be the first Kazakh team to feature in the Champions League group stage should they progress.



Celtic to win: 1.25

Shaktar to win: 17

Draw: 6.8

Celtic to progress: 2.12

Shaktar to progress: 1.86


TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 & Sky Sports HD at 7.45pm, highlights on Sky Sports 1 on 29 August at 3.30am, 9.00am & Sky Sports 4 at 3.00pm