Europa League referee meets Celtic for first time

By Connor Gordon

August 28, 2019

The referee for the Europa League tie against Celtic and AIK has been announced. Montenegro whistler Nikola Dabanovic will take charge of Thursday’s crunch tie.

Dabanovic is one referee who has never taken charge of a Celtic match. Hopefully his first match will be a positive one for the Hoops.

Nikola Dabanovic has limited Celtic history

Dabanovic is a UEFA category one referee going into the Europa League play-off tie.

Nikola Dabanovic is the referee for Thursday’s Europa League match between Celtic and AIK. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Hoops are leading by two goals following an impressive first leg display at Celtic Park.

Anything can happen in football and both teams are coming into the match following 3-1 domestic wins. AIK will still fancy their chances as they are going to welcome their striker back into the fold.

Dabanovic is going to have a big job on his hands trying to keep the tense game under wraps.

Although the Montenegran isn’t familiar with the Celtic first team, he has taken charge of a Hoops game. In the 2016/17 UEFA Youth League, Dabanovic was the man in the middle for Celtic’s heavy defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Celtic playing in the 2016/17 Youth League. (Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

The 37-year-old accountant will be aided in Stockholm on Thursday by three others of his fellow countrymen.

However, if Celtic play to where they know they can, then the referee isn’t something to be worried about.

Celtic must continue that referee mindset

The Bhoys will look to Sunday following Thursday’s Europa League match.

Bobby Madden takes the reins for the Glasgow Derby which is another massive match.

Bobby Madden getting involved in a Glasgow Derby tussle. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The games come thick and fast for both teams in the city as Rangers are also playing on Thursday night.

Both may have an eye on the derby, but they will put everything into Thursday.

The rewards are too great and only one team will get the chance to come out of the week with two wins.

Celtic must put any ideas about referees out their minds on Sunday and perform to their fullest.