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Sunday 11 December 2016

Deila hopes experience will carry Celtic past Qarabag

Ronny Deila
Ronny Deila

Celtic manager Ronny Deila hopes his team use their Champions League experience to their advantage when they host Qarabag on Wednesday night.

But the Norwegian has warned that his players are facing a settled side who have some of the characteristics he has pushed to instil in his team. Qarabag made their debut in the competition last season but went out in the third qualifying round against Salzburg.

Like Celtic, they had a decent experience in the Europa League group stages and only went out because of a poor decision to disallow an injury-time winner against Inter Milan.

Celtic have a far more impressive history in the competition than the side coached by Gurban Gurbanov, who has been in charge at the Azerbaijani champions for seven years, but Deila knows his players will have to earn respect in the first leg of the third qualifying round at Parkhead.

Deila, whose side fell at this stage to Legia Warsaw last year, before losing to Maribor after a reprieve, said: "Nobody is scared before they come, you have to make them scared through good play in the game. They haven't been there before so that's an advantage for us. We have to play our best performance and then we know we can hurt the other team.

"They have consistency in what they do. They have had the same coach for several years. We know we will face a very good opponent.

"They do a lot of things that we want to do. They are very offensive, they have good relations in the team.

"That's something we work on all the time to get people to look at each other and find angles on the pitch.

"And they are good at switching the play. Some things are similar but other things are different. We just have to do the things we want to do better than them."

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