Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Shakhter Karagandy vs. Celtic, 2013 UEFA Champions League: Preview and TV schedule

Celtic travel to Kazakhstan for their crucial Champions League playoff first leg, where they meet Shakhter Karagandy. The hosts are hoping to make history and become the first ever Kazakh team to qualify for the Champions League group stages, after back-to-back domestic league titles.

Shakhter, who play their home games in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, upset the odds and beat BATE Borisov -- the Belarusian team that felled eventual winners Bayern Munich last season -- to reach this stage. They rested their entire first team in their last league game in preparation for this match, meaning coach Viktor Kumykov should have a fit squad to choose from.

However, there's no doubt that Celtic are huge favourites. They not only reached, but progressed through the group stages last season, eventually being dumped out by Juventus in the round of 16. They have a handful of early doubts, with summer signings Derk Boerrigter and Amido Baldé failing to play a part in their SPL victory over Aberdeen on the weekend, along with Tom Rogić and Anthony Stokes.

Shakhter Karagandy injuries and suspensions

Out: None. In doubt: None.

Celtic injuries and suspensions

Out: None. In doubt: Derk Boerrigter, Anthony Stokes, Amido Baldé, Tom Rogić.

Match Date\Time: Tuesday, 9 p.m. local, 11 a.m. ET

Venue: Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan

TV: ITV4 (U.K.)

Online: Fox Soccer 2Go

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Shakhter Karagandy vs. Celtic, 2013 UEFA Champions League: Preview and TV schedule

This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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