Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas doesn’t believe that Celtic are serious contenders to win the Europa League, the Daily Express reports.
The former Celtic striker believes that Neil Lennon’s side will progress past Copenhagen to reach the last 16 of the competition, but doesn’t expect the team to go that much further in the tournament.
“Celtic, on the other hand, should see off Copenhagen at home quite easily on Thursday” he said, writing in his Daily Express column (25/02, Page 55).
“Don’t regard them as genuine contenders”
“However, I don’t regard them as genuine contenders to win the Europa League. There are still some top teams in this competition who would expose Neil Lennon’s side if they play like they did in the second half of last week’s 1-1 draw in Denmark.”
Nicholas is being harsh with his comments. Celtic might not have played that well in the second-half against Copenhagen, but it should still be remembered that the team created some great chances in that half.
Few teams would create as many chances in the knockout stages of a European tie as the Hoops did against Copenhagen.
Also, should the Hoops reach the last 16 of the Europa League then they have to be considered as contenders for the tournament. You can’t write a team off that reaches that level of the competition.
Comments could fire up players
If Neil Lennon sees Nicholas’ comments that it could fire both him and the Celtic players up ahead of the Copenhagen clash.
Even after defeating Lazio twice in the group stages of the Europa League, it seems that some people are still writing Celtic off.
The team deserve more credit than they have been getting, and one indifferent second-half display against Copenhagen shouldn’t change that.
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