It’s bound to be a hugely exciting night at Parkhead this evening between Celtic and Valencia.
Already, we’re closing in on kick-off at an alarming rate. Parkhead is soon going to be bouncing ahead of what’s surely the most intriguing tie of the last-32.
But before these two historic sides battle it out at Celtic Park, let’s have a quick look at the stats heading into the contest.
First off, Celtic, as we know, are flying. Seven consecutive wins and seven clean sheets since the winter break proves they’re now finally coming into form. Brendan Rodgers’ men are back to playing some confident football, and that’s been shown in the 21 goals scored since the break too.
In that same period, Valencia have played seven matches and lost just one of them. In truth, however, their form hasn’t been too impressive as they’ve drawn five of those seven matches. One notable point occurred at the Nou Camp against Barcelona, however.
Despite that impressive point, Valencia have been shocking travellers this season. They’ve won just one of their last seven away matches. Compare that with Celtic’s home form, and you could have a recipe for success tonight.
The Hoops have won every single one of their 16 domestic home matches this season. In Europe, they’ve won four of their six at Parkhead. The only side to have inflicted defeat on them was Red Bull Salzburg.
Many will relate tonight to the UEFA Cup Third Round meeting between the sides at the end of 2001. Celtic and Valencia both traded 1-0 wins on their own patches, with the La Liga side going through on penalties at Parkhead.
Whilst Valencia did take the spoils on that day, they’ve never won at Parkhead over 90 minutes. In both of their trips there, they’ve lost (1-0) and drawn (2-2) on the nights.
Valencia have previous success in Scotland…vs Rangers
That’s not to say they haven’t tasted success in Scotland. Valencia have won on two out of three occasions in which they played Rangers at Ibrox. In 1979, the Mestalla outfit strolled to a 3-1 success in the Cup Winners’ Cup, before taking a 2-1 victory in the Champions League group stages of the 1999/2000 season.
In their eight trips to Scotland overall, those are the only two times Valencia have won. They’ve also faced Hibernian and Dunfermline Athletic in the past.
Celtic, meanwhile, have only lost to two Spanish sides out of seven at Parkhead. Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have both won in Glasgow’s East End. The Hoops have, however, managed to see off Barca (x2), Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Villarreal, and Celta Vigo.
Overall against Spanish teams, Celtic have managed 25 goals. Unfortunately, 48 goals have been conceded.
So there’s positives and negatives to take heading into tonight’s clash. Here’s hoping Celtic can make sure all of those stats read a little better tomorrow morning.