UEFA Champions League: Hapoel Beer Sheva - Celtic FC  


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August 23, 2016 5:28 am  

UEFA Champions League: Hapoel Beer Sheva - Celtic FC

Celtic won the first leg 5-2 and looked out of sight at one stage at 3-0 early in that tie and on another night could have won by five, however and equally, they could have crumbled at 3-2 and again when the Israeli side were denied a penalty later in the game. We have seen them do so before and Brendan Rodgers, the head coach of the Scottish champions, said yesterday that those involved in last season's surrender to Malmo at this stage of the competition will not be unnerved by that disappointment. Adding:"I think a lot has been made of what's happened in the past and I've always said you have to embrace failure." He spent half the interview talking about this and for me,the loss in Sweden, and some other big collapses in the Champions League in recent campaigns, are clearly playing on his mind.

I think that this will be a very different game, Celtic were very fortunate not to lose at Astana, where they fought a rearguard action for most of the 90 minutes and they have won just 9 of 62 , including 2 of their last 14, away starts in Europe and have kept just two clean sheets in the last 20 ( in Azerbaijan and Iceland).Hapoel Beer Sheva have great confidence from their first domestic title in 40 years last season and head coach Barak Bakhar feels there is still life in this and rested key players for tonight in their league opener on Saturday.

HBS are a special team and have very much a them against us mentality domestically, Beersheba being in the "wilderness " of the South and their title win last season was described as "doing a Leicester City", which is a phrase we are going to hear far too much of ! Celtic can lose by 2 and still progress and I think they will look to keep this tight, which they are ill equipped and unused to doing and I expect the host to edge this narrowly and both teams to celebrate come the end of 90 minutes. The visitors also conceded two goals quickly from three up against St Johnstone at the weekend and sitting on a lead is not their forte.

Hapoel Beer Sheva -0.25 ball 2.07 asian line/Sportmarket

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