How Celtic can beat tired Valencia in Europa League

By Connor Gordon

February 11, 2019

Valencia manager Marcelino believes the Spaniards are tiring in the run up to the Celtic clash.

The Bats, like the Hoops, are playing two games a week and it’s starting to have an affect.

Despite two good draws, Valencia’s last match against Real Sociedad leaves a lot to be desired.

Celtic stamina can take Hoops to victory

The Hoops are relishing more games as the champions are on a fantastic run of form.

In contrast, Valencia are struggling to put a win together with three consecutive draws.

Valencia manager Marcelino believes his squad are tiring. (Photo by Carlos Sanchez Martinez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The official Valencia site reports Marcelino saying: “When you play a game less than 72 hours after your last one, then it is very obvious you are going to be tired.

“But we still had a few good chances in the second half and still could have won, although I accept Real Sociedad were better in the first half.”

The Bhoys are constantly playing two games a week and appear to be coping a lot better than their Spanish counterparts.

Celtic are familiar with two games a week. (photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

However, it’s a man returning to full fitness that will be key to a Celtic victory on Thursday.

Physical battle is key to assuring victory

The past few games have shown the Bats to be a strong and athletic side which will be a nightmare to play against.

As well as that physicality, the squad have fantastic ball players who can open teams up.

Against Real Betis and Sociedad, Thursday’s opponents utilised their crossing and heading ability.

The important man for Celtic in this instance is Dedryck Boyata who loves an aerial battle in defence.

Dedryck Boyata is Celtic’s key man for physical battle on Thursday night. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, the backline must also be wary of returning winger Gonçalo Guedes who will be up against Emilio Izaguirre or Jonny Hayes.

Fortunately, Marcelino will not be able to call upon defender Gabriel – a massive boost for the Hoops.

If Celtic play Thursday’s tie carefully then they will be in with a massive chance of victory.

However, switching off will allow Valencia’s more creative players to punish The Bhoys.