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Celtic V Valencia - Opponent Preview


Celtic v RB Salzburg - UEFA Europa League - Group B Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

One of the best things about drawing Valencia, and not an obscure eastern European team was that everyone knows what to expect, who they are, and their pedigree, so it means a lot of us can be spared being patronised by the Youtube CSC who will inform us everything about them, from their kitman and bus driver to their menu at training.

Thoughts and prayers with them, hope they cope OK.

So, Valencia, how did they get to the Europa League I hear you ask ? Well, the 2004 winners of the rebranded competition entered through the back door, failing to qualify from a Champions League group with Juventus, Man Utd and Young Boys.

Most notably, the SPANISH CRACKS don’t seem prolific scorers away from home in Europe, although Juventus’s defence is hardly St Johnstone’s, and Man Utd, even under Mourinho, aren’t at the crap standard we face week in week out, but their 1-1 draw in Switzerland was a surprise and ultimately cost them in the end, with Man Utd progressing in second place on ten points.

Rodrigo their striker has played against us before for Benfica in the CL, playing a key role in our last venture to the Last Sixteen stage (2012/2013), with his idiotic decision not to square a ball for a tap in to Oscar Cardozo at the Nou Camp which meant we progressed to the group stages that particular season, so let’s giving him a round of applause before the game.

The prolific Kevin Gameiro, a £16m acquisition from Atletico Madrid, has been a huge letdown for Valencia this season, with only three goals to his name but has scored in their last three matches, including the opener against Barcelona away, so I’m sure we won’t go into the game thinking he’s an idiot.

Another one to watch will be Denis Cheryshev, one of Russia’s best players at the World Cup last year, who will more than likely decide to turn up against us as well.

In defence, the Spaniards have another player who has faced Celtic in Ezequiel Garay Tank Commander, who lashed home the winner in Lisbon as Benfica beat us 2-1 back in late 2012, and another name you’ll be familiar with is ex-Arsenal ‘hardman’ Gabriel Paulista.

Tomorrow we’ll focus on Celtic ahead of the CRUNCH CLASH.