Marc Rieper on 'unbelievable' task Celtic face vs Copenhagen

By John Reid

February 19, 2020

Former Celtic title winner Marc Rieper feels that the Hoops will have a tough time against Copenhagen in the first leg of the last 32 Europa League tie, due to the Danish side’s excellent home record, the Daily Record reports.

It could be argued that the Hoops are favourites for the game, the team have been in excellent form recently.

However, Rieper, who won the league with Celtic in 1998, thinks that it might not be the easiest of games for the Scottish league leaders.

“Copenhagen have an unbelievable record at home. In the last five or six years – even in the Champions League – they’ve maybe only lost one or two games” he said, as quoted by the Daily Record.

“They’re really strong”

“They’re really strong over here, so they’ll want to win the first leg. Then again on the road they’ve been good as well. They’ll be happy if they stop Celtic scoring in Copenhagen, and they’d take a 0-0 draw.”

The Parken Stadium where Celtic will play on Thursday (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

Rieper is correct to flag up just how well the Danish side have performed at home, especially in the Champions League.

In their last three appearances in the group stages, they have lost only one home game, and that was to Real Madrid.

Lost last home group stage match this season

That alone shows that it won’t be easy for the Hoops. What might give Celtic hope though, is that in their last Europa League group stage game this season, Copenhagen lost 1-0 at home to Malmo.

That was an important game as well, as it ensured that Malmo topped the group with a win.

Celtic opponents Copenhagen / (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

It is intriguing that Rieper suggests that Copenhagen would be happy with a 0-0 draw in the game.

That could be an indication that the Danish side would be more comfortable in the second leg, hitting the Hoops on the break.

As for the first leg, you imagine that Celtic boss Neil Lennon would be pleased with any result which keeps the Hoops in with a chance reaching the last 16.

A 0-0 draw could be that result, although obviously an away goal would be better for the Hoops.