Ronny Deila
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Can Celtic beat the odds for Champions League survival?

| 06.08.2014

Celtic face a momentous challenge in coming back from the battleground floor to defeat Polish league champions Legia Warsaw, after their embarrassing Champions League third qualifying first leg 4-1 loss.

“We have everything to win,” new Norwegian Hoops boss Ronny Deila said. “I haven’t given up. It’s possible. If we turn this around, it will be a massive night and maybe the best night of my life. It would be behind having kids, an unbelievable night.

However, they are heavily against the odds to do so, with a price of 7/2 to qualify for the group stage play-offs. Their opponents, managed by fellow Norwegian and former Rangers and Manchester United defender Henning Berg, meanwhile, are odds-on at 1/6.

Despite this, Celtic are still favourites at 8/13 to win in 90 minutes at their temporary home Murrayfield, and will need a 3-0 victory at least if they are to progress on the away goals rule. You can take odds of 12/1 for that more-than realistic scoreline.

“That is what we are wanting, dreaming of but behind that it needs a good performance. Thursday was a hard day but I have had many days like that in my career,” Deila added.

“That gets you reflecting and you have to use your experience to turn it around and bounce back. I can’t go off and think of disaster, I have to think of how what we are going to do and how we will improve.”

Former Stromsgodset manager Deila certainly doesn’t lack passion, and he continued by saying: “I want to see more enjoyment and energy on the pitch. That’s what I want to see tomorrow: commitment and desire to win; desire to fight for each other and to be a team.

“Somebody told me to have a ‘Celtic Heart’. I think that is a fantastic expression – everybody is feeling free and just wanting to attack which there was a lack of in the game in Warsaw.

“But two things we need to improve – the defending and we can’t lose the ball in dangerous areas, like we did last week.

“If we do that, we will make more chances and we know that we can score goals, this team has done it many times, score three and more.”

Celtic will be without Efe Ambrose, who was sent off in the first leg, as well as Scott Brown and James Forrest, who are both injured.

In the Coral treble, you can back all of the home favourites Celtic, Dinamo Zagreb (1/2 for victory in 90 minutes) and Partizan Belgrade (11/8) all to win their matches in normal time at 5/1 in their respective Champions League matches.

Zagreb hold a 1-0 lead against AaB of Denmark going into their second leg, while Partizan drew 0-0 away to Hungarian side Ludogorets Razgrad.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.