Celtic, home favorites
Celtic managed a draw in the first leg against Romanian Champions CFR Cluj. Celtic's last two league games saw Neil Lennon's men score 12 goals, including a staggering 7-0 home victory over St. Johnstone. In addition, the Scottish team have been in solid form at home in their last few European matches. They have won four of their last five games in this competition at Celtic Park and 12 of their last 14 home qualifiers in the same competition. The visitors are not very confident on the road in Europe as they have only won two in their last five outings. The home side are clear favorites and they will be out to run riot from the very word go.
Porto to win at home against Krasnodar
FC Porto are in a strong position against Russian opposition Krasnodar for the return leg of the qualifiers. The Portuguese had a great outing last time after winning away to their visitors. The Portuguese are definitely at a different level considering that Krasnodar are participating in this competition for the first time. Inexperience and lack of quality will tip the balance in favor of Porto who are regulars in the competition. It is, therefore, a very complicated mission for the Russian side against Porto.
FC Basel in to have it rough
Basel are clearly the favorite in this fixture against LASK Linz after dispatching PSV Eindhoven in the previous round. FC Basel are in bad shape after the first leg. The Swiss were handed a shock defeat by the Austrians who prevailed to win 2-1. The Austrians have two important away goals and are normally much more difficult to play against at home. LASK have also not lost in their last three home games and are undefeated in their last five games in all competitions. The Swiss will have to score early if they want to make it to the group stage of the Champions League.
Ajax to bank on home advantage?
Ajax managed to draw 2-2 in Greece against PAOK to secure themselves the away goals advantage ahead of the return leg at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Erik Ten Hag’s men are no strangers to European competitions and they have shown their value in the previous edition of the tournament. They managed to reach the semi-finals with a relatively inexperienced team. PAOK have never beaten Ajax in six games and have drawn in their last two games in Amsterdam. Ajax are clearly the favorites and they will be hoping that luck is on their side.
An open game between FC Copenhagen and Red Star Belgrade
Present at the last edition of the Champions League, Red Star of Belgrade had to concede a draw against this opponent FC Copenhagen. The Serbs were neutralized in their Marakana by the Danes. However, it was the locals who opened the scoring with their striker Pavkov before half-time. But five minutes from the end, Jonas Wind equalized for the Danes on a penalty that raises in this double confrontation. Both teams are in shape at the beginning of the season and everything remains open for this return match in Copenhagen