The second leg of the Champions League third round of qualifiers will resume today and here is a look at the things to expect.
Do or die for Celtic
Celtic have a huge task as they head to Greece to face AEK in the return leg of their third-round Champions League qualifying tie. They are under a lot of pressure to qualify for the next round and they will be worried about their recent record. They drew the first leg 1-1 at home, handing their opponents the all-important away goal. Brendan Rodgers faces a real prospect of elimination from the competition if they fail to get a good result. AEK are no pushovers and the Bhoys will be out to give their all to secure qualification to the fourth round.
Ajax to trounce Standard Liege
Ajax will be seeking to build on their strong performance in the first leg against Standard Liege. The match ended in a 2-2 stalemate and the advantage of facing their opponents at home will be a welcome opportunity. They showed a lot of composure during the game but they were unlucky not to win the match at the end of regular time, but the Dutchmen will have the home support to cheer them on this time around. They rested a number of players during the weekend and they should find it easier this time around.
Eastern European takeover
The eastern European teams are the favourites for the second leg of their Champions League qualifiers. Dynamo Kyiv were held by Slavia Praha last week but the return game promises to be easier for the Ukrainians, who will this time have the home advantage. BATE Borisov are also in control after winning 1-0 against Qarabag last week. Spartak Moscow have one foot in the playoffs and only have to stop PAOK from scoring to advance. The Croatians won’t be left out either. Dinamo Zagreb perfectly assimilated Astana 2-0 in the first leg of their tie.
Timo Werner to seek redemption
Timo Werner has been RB Leipzig’s number one danger man since joining the club. At only 22 years old, he has managed to score 21 goals his last two seasons in the Bundesliga. This has attracted the attention of big European giants like Real Madrid. According to reports, the Blancos are keen on securing his services before the close of the summer window. Bayern Munich also have the Red Bull star on their watch list, and this will be a motivating factor for Werner. He has not been scoring of late and he will be eager to change this trend and we expect a good showing from the youngster when his side plays CSU Craiova this Thursday.
Bordeaux complete their four of Aces
The Girondins had a bad Europa League campaign last year and, this year, they seem determined to impress. Their qualifying record is lined with victories, including three straight wins. They walked over Illychivets Mariupol last week, winning 3-1 in the Ukrainians’ backyard. The return game should cause no problem for Gus Poyet’s team