close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Celtic, Monaco face test of Champions League nerves

Celtic and Monaco face testing Champions League missions on Tuesday with their hopes of reaching the money-spinning group stages on a knife-edge.

Celtic, Monaco face test of Champions League nerves

Paris: Celtic and Monaco face testing Champions League missions on Tuesday with their hopes of reaching the money-spinning group stages on a knife-edge.

Ronny Deila`s Celtic take a 3-2 lead to Malmo in the second leg of their play-off while Monaco must turn around a 3-1 deficit when they welcome Spanish side Valencia to the principality.

Swedish champions Malmo struck a second away goal late on through Jo Inge Berget at Celtic Park last week.

"We are very irritated with the last thing that happened in the game. But we have to move on and know that we are ahead and we are going to do this in Malmo," said Deila. 

"We are one goal ahead and they have to beat us in Malmo. It was an okay result, but it could have been a better result."

Celtic suffered heartache at this stage last season when they were eliminated 2-1 on aggregate by Slovenian side NK Maribor.

But the 1967 winners -- the first British club to win the European Cup -- believe they have a better chance of progress this time.

"Of course we can beat Malmo away. But they have to beat us, and that is a positive thing," added Deila.

"They have to attack us and that can suit us."

Malmo, who are looking to make the group stages for the second successive season, will not be phased by the challenge of overturning the deficit.

They came back from a 2-0 first-leg defeat to advance 3-2 against Red Bull Salzburg in the previous qualifying round.

Leonardo Jardim`s Monaco, last season`s quarter-finalists, conceded a late third goal in the first leg when Sofiane Feghouli struck for the La Liga side.

Only Jeremy Toulalan, Danijel Subasic and Wallace retained their places for the 1-1 Ligue 1 draw against Toulouse on Saturday with Jardim making eight changes from the defeat at the Mestalla.

Portuguese playmaker Joao Moutinho is still sidelined for Monaco while Helder Costa and Aymen Abdennour are also unavailable, but 2004 runners-up Monaco are otherwise at full strength. 

Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo also rang the changes for his side`s first game of the Spanish season against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Matthew Ryan, Shkodran Mustafi, Ruben Vezo and Rodrigo Javier de Paul were the only players to have kept their places from the first-leg win over Monaco.

Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk have a 1-0 lead over Austria`s Rapid Vienna ahead of their return leg in Lviv.

Shakhtar are favourites to reach the group stage for a sixth consecutive season after Marlos` 44th-minute winner in Vienna.

Rapid are looking to make the group stages for the first time since the 2005/06 campaign and overcame four-time champions Ajax in the last round.

Swiss champions Basel, who have reached the round of 16 twice in the last four seasons, face an uphill task in Israel after Maccabi Tel Aviv pinched a 2-2 first-leg draw in Switzerland.

Eran Zahavi`s header six minutes into stoppage time means Basel have it all to do in Israel.

Albanian champions Skenderbeu must win at Dinamo Zagreb after losing 2-1 at home in the first leg.

Josip Pivaric struck in added time for the Croatian champions who are looking to make the group stages for the first time in three years.

Skenderbeu will become the first Albanian side to qualify for the main draw should they advance. 

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions