Stiliyan Petrov points out one advantage Celtic have over Valencia

27 Aug 2000:  Stilian Petrov of Celtic celebrates during the Scottish Premier League match against Rangers played at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland. Celtic won the match 6-2. \...

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic will host Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League clash at Parkhead on Thursday.

27 Aug 2000:  Stilian Petrov of Celtic celebrates during the Scottish Premier League match against Rangers played at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland. Celtic won the match 6-2. \...

Speaking to the Daily Record, Stiliyan Petrov has pointed out one advantage that Celtic have in their daunting Europa League clash against Valencia – their fans.

The Hoops are set to face Los Che over two legs in the last 32 of the Europa League in a repeat of the infamous UEFA Cup clash from all the way back in 2001.

Valencia could call upon the world class talents of Roberto Ayala, Santiago Canizares and Pablo Aimar that night 18 years ago and, while their squad is not quite as fearsome these days, Marcelino Garcia Toral can still field some exceptional footballers.

 

The Spanish giants are certainly the favourites on paper but Petrov has backed Celtic ahead of Thursday’s first leg at Parkhead, pointing out that Valencia’s players could be left quaking in their boots by a sea of green and white.

“Valencia might not be the team they were in 2001 but they are still a top Spanish side with a lot of talent,” the former Bulgaria international told the Daily Record.

“But what Celtic do have is Celtic Park. It’s a special place and incredible things can happen there. We’ve seen it so many times over the years.

A general view of  Celtic Park ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Celtic and Zenit St Petersburg at the Celtic Park on February 15, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

“The fans start from the first minute and it really lifts the players. It’s electric.”

What Petrov has failed to mention, however, is that Valencia’s Mestalla stadium can be a real cauldron of noise on European nights, too.

Los Che have some of the most passionate and vocal supporters anywhere on the continent, so Celtic could really do with getting a good result under their belts before they make the return trip to Spain.

A general view outside Estadi de Mestalla is seen prior to La Liga match between Valencia CF and RCD Espanyol at Estadi de Mestalla on February 13, 2016 in Valencia, Spain.

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