Celtic V Legia Warsaw Live – Can Hoops Recover From Damaging First-Leg Defeat?
Celtic v Legia Warsaw. 7:45PM.
Wednesday 6th August.
A nightmare defeat in the Polish capital has left Ronny Deila’s Celtic hanging on to the Champions League dream by a thread and only a minor miracle will see them progress to the final stage of qualification.
However, the Hoops have performed Houdini-esque feats in this competition before and should not give up hopes just yet.
Could another magical European night be in store for the SPL champions.
Celtic Looking To Last Term For Inspiration
Overturning a 4-1 deficit may seem an impossible task but the SPL champions only need to cast their eyes back twelve months to find the last time they performed heroics of this ilk.
Having lost to Shakhter Karagandy 2-0 in Kazahkstan last year, the Hoops claimed a 3-0 second-leg victory to secure their place in the group stage. However, if that was their Kilimanjaro then this is their Everest. Perhaps it will be one step too far for the SPL giants.
However, it is worth noting that Celtic were on top of last week’s encounter prior to Efe Ambrose’s stupid sending off and that should give hope to the hosts. One potential issue for the Hoops, though, is the fact that they’ll be playing in Edinburgh once more due to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Celtic may have enjoyed a dominant 4-0 win over KR Reykjavik at Murrayfield in the previous round but Legia will provide much sterner competition.
On a brighter note, though, we’re accustomed to high drama whenever Celtic are in Europe – Wednesday could be one of the greatest nights in their recent history.
Deila Demanding A Win
Even if Celtic can’t progress, it is essential that the new boss at least guides them to a win on the night.
The Norwegian boss made huge claims about the fact Celtic had to play three qualifying rounds, suggesting that one would be more appropriate, and those accusations seem to have blown up in his face. It is crucial that his side restore some pride at the very least.
Even if Celtic do lose it is unlikely that the new boss won’t be given more time. However, this would be a hugely damaging defeat for the Hoops, particularly after the successes under previous manager Neil Lennon, and could impact the 38-year-old’s chances of ever replicating the triumphs of the previous regime.
Without Champions League football it could become very hard to tempt better players to Celtic Park, especially as the domestic game is in such a poor state following the demise of city rivals Rangers. European football is key for the SPL side and they would give anything to recover from last week’s horror show.
Whatever happens, we should be in for a thrilling ride.
Celtic v Legia Warsaw Betting
Bookmaker Bet365 have installed Celtic as the odds-on favourites at 4/9 and are making Legia available at 6/1. Meanwhile the draw is priced 10/3.
Anybody that watched last week’s first-leg will confirm that Celtic were on top before the game-changing red card and there is no reason to believe they won’t win this reverse fixture.
The fact that Legia can afford to lose by two goals means that they may adopt a more defensive approach than normal, but we do think the hosts will break through the Polish defence at some stage.
It should be a home win, the real question is whether they can overturn the aggregate deficit.
Make no mistake, Celtic are in trouble. However, the Scottish club enjoy some of the most magical European nights. The fat lady may be warming up her vocals, but she isn’t singing just yet.
If Celtic score an early goal then the balance of the tie will be shifted. It would also get the home crowd roaring and that could quite easily spur the SPL champions to another memorable victory.