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Celtic vs Valencia preview

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Last Updated: 13/02/19 4:17pm

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is wary of Valencia's threat

Celtic head coach Brendan Rodgers has warned his players they will need to be patient when they take on Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie at Celtic Park on Thursday night.

The Scottish Premiership champions head into the fixture in good form, but Rodgers knows the hosts will need to be at their very best against opponents currently sitting eighth in La Liga.

"They're a very good side. They're a fast team and we'll anticipate a really tough game," said Rodgers.

"Patience is part of the game. That's the understanding of the game. You're playing against good teams.

1:37 Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian

"Valencia have only lost four times all season in one of the biggest leagues in Europe. It's about respecting that the opponent is a good side.

"It's up to us to ensure we go and deliver a game and an intensity in our game that gives the supporters that hope.

Team news

Left-back Kieran Tierney may make a surprise return after coming through training unscathed, while Oliver Burke is also in line to play despite the forward suffering an ankle problem in his side's Scottish Cup win over St Johnstone on the weekend.

Kieran Tierney could return at Celtic Park Opta statsValencia eliminated Celtic in their two previous knockout encounters - the Spanish side won 6-4 on aggregate in the 1962-63 Fairs Cup first round and on penalties in the 2001-02 UEFA Cup round of 32 (1-1 on aggregate, 5-4 on penalties).Celtic have won six of their last eight home games in European competition, qualifiers included (D1 L1), the only defeat in that run coming against Red Bull Salzburg in December 2018 (1-2).Since the start of the Europa League in 2009/10, Celtic have never progressed past the round of 32 - this is their sixth appearance.Valencia have never kept a clean sheet in an away game against Scottish opposition, in all competitions (8 games).Valencia's Carlos Soler was directly involved in four of his team's six goals in this season's Champions League group stages (2 goals, 2 assists).Charlie's prediction

I am going with my heart over my head. Celtic do not convince you in Europe. There are two special places in Britain for European nights, Anfield and Celtic Park. These are the nights where there is an extra edge, the Celtic fans turn up for it. Valencia are eighth in La Liga and are a bit inconsistent going forward. They beat Manchester United at home and should have done away too.

Daniel Parejo is a creative and silky midfield player - Celtic must stop him. Valencia can rely on the defence and sit in. Celtic must take an advantage going back to Valencia. When I see Rodrigo and Kevin Gameiro, they have serious fire-power. This team is very good at counter-attack football. Celtic have to keep their heads and be patient for the right moments. If they can stop Parejo and be aggressive, then I can see something happening. Oliver Burke has been good and is scoring goals, so he could be in the thick of it, but I am not totally convinced in this one.

CHARLIE SAYS: 2-1 (11/1 with Sky Bet)

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