Celtic FC and FC Astana need no introduction after being paired together in the UEFA Champions League for the second time in as many seasons.
• Celtic prevailed when the teams met in last season’s third qualifying round. A 1-1 draw in Kazakhstan was followed by a 2-1 success for the Scottish club in Glasgow; Leigh Griffiths scored in both matches, with Moussa Dembélé’s 90th-minute penalty in the second leg proving decisive. Yuri Logvinenko registered Astana’s first-leg goal.
• The line-ups for the second leg in Glasgow on 3 August 2016 were:
Celtic: Gordon, Brown, Griffiths, Armstrong (Touré 61), Janko, Lustig, Roberts (Johansen 31), O’Connell, McGregor, Forrest (Dembélé 75), Tierney.
Astana: Erić, Aničić, Muzhikov (Despotović 90+3), Nurgaliyev (Ibraimi 57), Shitov, Beysebekov, Twumasi, Logvinenko, Kabananga, Shomko, Cañas.
• Celtic also came out on top in their only other tie against opposition from Kazakhstan, turning around a 2-0 first-leg loss at FC Shakhter Karagandy in the 2013/14 play-offs with a 3-0 second-leg win at home.
• The 2016/17 meeting was Astana’s sole tie against a club from Scotland.
• Celtic are yet to concede in this season’s competition, overcoming Linfield FC in the second qualifying round (2-0 away, 4-0 home) and Rosenborg BK in the third qualifying round (0-0 home, 1-0 away).
• Celtic’s record in six UEFA Champions League play-offs is W3 L3. The victories were against Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC (2016/17), Shakhtar Karagandy (2013/14) and Helsingborgs IF (2012/13); the defeats came against Malmö FF (2015/16), NK Maribor (2014/15) and Arsenal FC (2009/10).
• Celtic are looking to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for a tenth time; 12 months ago they beat Hapoel 5-4 on aggregate at this stage (5-2 home, 0-2 away) but could only finish fourth in their section.
• Qualifying included, Brendan Rodgers’ side have lost only one of their last seven European games (W3 D3), going down 2-0 at home to FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 23 November 2016.
• Celtic have won just one of their last five European home matches (D2 L2).
• Astana got this far with a 3-2 aggregate success over Legia Warszawa in the third qualifying round (3-1 home, 0-1 away)
• This is Astana’s third UEFA Champions League campaign. They went all the way from the second qualifying round to the group stage on their debut in 2015/16; last term they were knocked out 3-2 on aggregate by Celtic in the third qualifying round.
• Astana went on to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage last season, coming fourth in their section.
• The 1-0 victory at FK Spartaks Jūrmala in the second qualifying round first leg was Astana’s first away win in the UEFA Champions League at the ninth attempt; their previous record was D4 L4.
• That result at Spartaks Jūrmala ended a run of 13 UEFA away fixtures (D5 L8) without a victory for Astana, since a 3-0 triumph at AIK Solna in an August 2014 UEFA Europa League qualifier.
Team and coach links
• Aleksandr Mokin and Sergei Maliy featured in both legs for Shakhter Karagandy against Celtic in August 2013. Neither player faced Celtic last summer.
• Northern Irish manager Rodgers led Celtic to their sixth successive Scottish Premier League title last term, his first campaign in charge, as well as the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup. The Hoops went through the domestic season unbeaten.
• Former Bulgaria midfielder Stanimir Stoilov has won three league titles since coming to Kazakhstan in 2014, as well as steering Astana into the 2016/16 UEFA Champions League group stage – a phase he had earlier graced as coach of PFC Levski Sofia.