Copenhagen captain Zeca labels Celtic match a "bonus"

By David Walton

February 27, 2020

Copenhagen captain Zeca has labeled tonight’s clash against Celtic a “bonus” for his side, showing the difference in mentality of both squads.

Celtic host the Danish side having secured a fine 1-1 draw in Copenhagen last week. Odsonne Edouard and Dame N’Doye’s goals set up a mouth-watering second leg at Celtic Park this evening.

For the Hoops, it’s a massive opportunity that must be taken. Beating Copenhagen to progress to the last-16 of the competition would be terrific for the club, and they all know the importance of a win.

Celtic battled hard for their draw last week (Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

But Zeca has stated that Copenhagen have done what they set out to achieve this season. In a clear attempt to lift some pressure from his team tonight, Zeca said the following to B.T:

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“A team like ours is used to playing in Europe, and we have done a lot to get to where we are now.

“The match may is a bonus because we have met our goals in the tournament, but we deserve to be here, so now we hope to take our chance. I think we are in a good position to move forward.

“But we are building something very exciting, although we have not looked equally good in all matches. I definitely think we will be much better in the future.”

Going out would sicken us a lot more than Copenhagen

You get the feeling that Copenhagen could take going out tonight pretty well. It wouldn’t really be a blow to their season and they’re seemingly just happy to be in the competition at this stage.

For Celtic, however, tonight is massive. It’s a huge chance to reach a stage of the competition we haven’t been in since the format of it changed in 2009. Losing tonight and being knocked out of the round of 32 for a fourth consecutive time would be a massive slap in the face.

You can see the mentality difference between the two sides here. It may be a bonus game for Copenhagen, but it’s anything but for us.

Neil Lennon in Copenhagen (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Zeca says that Copenhagen have already achieved their goals in the competition this season. Clearly, that was only to qualify from the group stages and reach this round. For us, we always had ambitions of doing something meatier in the Europa League this year.

Copenhagen have reached the last-16 of the Europa League in the past. In 2017, they faced Ajax in the latter stages after knocking Ludogrets out of the last-32. So it’s a tad surprising to see them clearly satisfied with last-32 participation alone. Hopefully, that shows at Parkhead tonight.

How far can Celtic go in the tournament this season? Will tonight be a good indicator of how strong we are? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion forum below.