Hoops are now just two games away from a place in the Champions League group stage for the second year running
CELTIC are now just 180 minutes away from a place in the Champions League group stage after getting past Rosenborg in the third qualifying round.
All that stands in their way is Kazakhstan’s Astana – a team Brendan Rodgers’ men know all too well.
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The pair met last year just one round earlier with the Hoops prevailing as Moussa Dembele’s injury-time penalty – his first goal for the club – sealed a 3-2 aggregate win.
They will meet again as they fight it out for a place amongst European football’s top clubs and a £30million jackpot.
Speaking on the draw, Celtic boss Rodgers was filled with optimism.
He said: “We are happy with it. It’s always going to be tough, whoever you play.
“The beauty for us is that it’s not the unknown. We played them last year and qualified, really at the beginning of our journey together.
“We know what it’s like out there – hotel, astroturf pitch, same manager and virtually the same players.
“It will be equally as tough as last year but we will be looking forward to it and be ready for it”
Celtic are yet to concede in the competition having overcome Linfield and Rosenborg.
Astana got this far with a hard-fought success over KP Legia Warszawa.
When is Celtic vs Astana?
The first-leg will take place at Celtic Park on Wednesday August 16.
The game will kick-off at 7:45pm
What TV channel is Celtic vs Astana?
The game will be shown live on BT Sport 2.
Coverage will begin at 7pm, with 45 minute of build up ahead of kick-off.
Brendan Rodgers will have to do without defensive duo Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko through injury.
The latter suffered knee ligament damage against Rosenborg in Trondheim last week and could up to face six weeks out.
Hitman Moussa Dembele has also been sidelined until September as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.
However, Brendan Rodgers’ men did manage to get through their 1-0 victory over Partick Thistle unscathed.
Leigh Griffiths was presumably rested for the big game on Wednesday as he came on as a late sub, but he is back to full fitness and will likely start against Astana.
Astana head coach Stanimir Stoilov has guided the club to the Premier League title for the last three season’s running.
They are midway through their domestic campaign and are on course to make it nine league wins in succession.
Stoilov’s side are in good form and include defender Yuriy Logvinenko, who scored the first-leg goal to hold the Hoops to a 1-1 draw in Kazakhstan 12 months ago.
However, the Kazakhstan side are in jeopardy of losing their star players this summer.
Patrick Twumasi has came out and said he wanted to leave the club for Turkish side Bursapor.
And Junior Kabananga – the top scorer in this year’s African Cup of Nations – has been attracting interest from top clubs too.
Club officials are standing firm saying they are refusing to sell any of their players before their Champions League fate is decided.
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