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Sunday 17 December 2017

Bhoys ready for Inter exam

Deila has no worries ahead of Europa clash

Celtic's Gary MacKay-Steven (L) challenges Simon Lappin during their Scottish Premier League soccer match at McDiarmid Park Stadium in Perth
Celtic's Gary MacKay-Steven (L) challenges Simon Lappin during their Scottish Premier League soccer match at McDiarmid Park Stadium in Perth

Ronny Deila has no worries about sending his European novices out to face Inter Milan tomorrow night.

By the time kick-off approaches the sell-out crowd will have feasted on memories of the Celtic's greatest ever night with the Lisbon Lions having almost as busy a schedule as the current Celtic squad.

Following in the footsteps of Billy McNeill, Jimmy Johnstone, Stevie Chalmers and Tommy Gemmell is a daunting task for any group of players but under the floodlights in Glasgow's east end the current crop of players have the chance to make their mark.

A month ago Gary Mackay-Stevens and Stuart Armstrong were playing for Dundee United while Jason Denayer, Stefan Johansen and John Guidetti have only dressing rooms tales to prepare them for tomorrow's action.

Deila hasn't had much enjoyment from Europe this season but with his side well placed for the domestic treble the Norwegian is confident that the class of 2015 can stand up for themselves.

"This will be a new experience for a lot of our players," the Celtic boss admitted. "Their first big European match has to come, I'm not afraid to use those players, they are ready for it.

"The atmosphere will be unbelievable and the players have to contribute to that as well. We're looking forward to it, we want to get out there and perform, we'll do everything that we can to achieve the right result.

"It's going to be a huge night and one that we are al looking forward to but most importantly it's a football game and we have to prepare properly for it. We'll have to be up for it to get a good result.

"I'm expecting Inter to be very well organised with individuals that can win matches. It's always tough for opponents coming to Celtic Park, we'll go out with a lot of energy looking to win the game.

hard battle

"It'll be a hard battle but we know their weaknesses and we have to exploit them, we'll have to be very disciplined for 90 minutes."

Kris Commons is the main injury doubt for Celtic after picking up a hamstring strain at Dundee 10 days ago.

With the return leg in the San Siro next Thursday and a demanding domestic programme Deila won't take any risk with last season's top scorer.

Deila's assistant John Collins said: "Kris has trained the last couple of days but they have not been full sessions.

"But as every day goes by we are monitoring him. He will do a little bit more tomorrow, so we will see how he is. I'd say his chances are about 50/50."

EUROPA LEAGUE: CELTIC V INTER MILAN

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