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UEFA Europa League

Gerry Armstrong urges Celtic players to soak up Valencia occasion

6th February 2019, Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Celtic versus Hibernian; Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager arrives for the game

Celtic will travel to Valencia on Thursday for the return leg of their Europa League encounter.

Former Northern Ireland player, Gerry Armstrong commentating on the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and San Marino at Windsor Park on October 8, 2016 in Belfast,...

Gerry Armstrong has honestly stated that 'it is a shame' that Celtic were drawn against Valencia in the Europa League because he feels they are 'one of the favourites' to lift the trophy at the end of the season. 

Brendan Rodgers side suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first leg last Thursday on home soil and they will be looking to overturn that deficit when they travel to Spain in a few days time. 

Most Celtic fans will understand that it will be a big ask for their team to progress through to the next round, but they will be looking for a better display than the one they produced last time out.

 

Nonetheless, Spanish expert Armstrong offered his thoughts on the second leg encounter as he urged the players to soak up the occasion because it could be the last time they play at the Mestalla. 

“It is shame Celtic have drawn a team who are, for me, one of the favourites for the competition," said Armstrong, as quoted by HearldScotland. "There are a lot of good teams left in the Europa League and they are definitely one of them.

"But Valencia can be got at. If they can keep it tight for the first 15 or 20 minutes they can do something. It could be the last occasion they get to play there (Scott Brown, James Forrest and Callum McGregor). 

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 17; Scott Brown of Celtic celebrates after he scores the winning goal during he Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Celtic at Rugby...

"Valencia are building the new stadium not far away. They have been for some time due to financial problems they have had. But I think they are moving there in another year or so."

Things have not been going too well for Valencia on the domestic front because they are currently sitting ninth in La Liga, five points outside of the top-four.

Playing in one of the toughest leagues in Europe and having to contend with the brutal nature of playing Europa League football on Thursday must be taking its toll on the players.

As for Celtic, they are, once again, dominating on all fronts in Scotland as they currently hold a healthy eight-point lead on Old Firm rivals Rangers in the table. 

Nonetheless, Rodgers will be hoping his attacking players can prove their worth away from home and potentially cause an upset.

6th February 2019, Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Celtic versus Hibernian; Oliver Burke of Celtic celebrates his goal and Celtics second in minute 63 with...

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