Celtic will lose to FK Astana, says former Shakhter Karagandy manager Viktor Kumykov

The Champions League trophy before the game

The Hoops progressed into the Third Qualifying round of the Champions League last night.

The Champions League trophy before the gameThe Champions League trpohy

Former Shakhter Karagandy manager Viktor Kumykov has claimed Celtic will lose against FK Astana in their upcoming Champions League qualifier, in quotes published by the Daily Record.

The Hoops strolled to a three-nil win over Lincoln Red Imps at Parkhead last night, setting up an encounter with the Kazakhstani team next week, and Kumykov doesn’t fancy their chances.

Celtic fans as New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is presented after the press conferenceCeltic fans

“Celtic are a famous team and I respect them but they are not the Celtic team of old, the one who beat Barcelona,” said the 53-year old.

"They have been getting weaker each season and I firmly believe we should have beaten them in 2013.

"A lot has changed at Celtic, they have very few of their stronger players left at the club. Celtic have got worse since we played them and Astana have got stronger.

"I would expect Astana to easily dispose of the Lithuanians and then beat Celtic. I will certainly be supporting them."

Celtic's James ForrestCeltic's James Forrest

Kumykov was at the helm when Celtic scraped past Karagandy to qualify for the Champions League in 2013, overturning a two-nil defeat in the first leg to win by three at Parkhead with a last gasp James Forrest strike.

The Russian is still clearly angered by that loss and while Astana will be a significant step up in quality from that of the Red Imps, failure to progress would represent a major disappointment for the Hoops.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the press conferenceNew Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

The Kazakh club didn’t dispose of Zalgiris Vilnius easily but required a 90th minute winner to set up the clash with Brendan Rodgers’ team next week.

Celtic travel to Eastern Europe for the first-leg on Tuesday and will hope to fare better than they did against Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar.

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