Brendan Rodgers has addressed the media at Lennoxtown today as Celtic go through their final preparations before tomorrow night’s visit of Valencia in the UEFA Europa League.
Celtic reached the last 32 of the competition after finishing second behind RB Salzburg in Group B with a key 2-1 home victory over RB Leipzig, a victory that will give the team great confidence going into the test against the Spaniards.
A 5-0 win over St. Johnstone on Sunday did no harm to the momentum of the players.
The manager discussed the quality of the opponents as well as the threat that they bring to Glasgow despite missing a few of their star players with Santi Mina ruled out and Rodrigo not making the trip.
He also talked injuries as he expects Oliver Burke to be available despite an ankle knock at the weekend but revealed Kieran Tierney won’t be available.
On Valencia's qualities
Rodgers gave his thoughts on Valencia ahead of the game. The Spanish side endured a poor start to the season, but have picked themselves up throughout the second half of the campaign.
“They’re a very good side. They’re a fast team and we’ll anticipate a really tough game.
“You’re playing against good teams. Valencia have only lost four times all season in one of the biggest leagues in Europe.”
There were some suggestions that the defender could be available for the game, but Rodgers has dismissed any chance of the Scotsman featuring.
“Kieran Tierney has trained but won’t be available.
“We’re unfortunate that we have injuries but we’ve had a few throughout the season. We just carry on like we have all year.”
His sides's chances
Due to Valencia’s poor form earlier this season, many people made Celtic favourites when the draw was made. Rodgers gave his view on the tie and Celtic’s chance.
“We couldn’t have arrived into the game at a better moment. The confidence is high and they have shown they belong at this level.
“It’s very important for Celtic to compete at this level. The club is historically synonymous with European competition so we want to do all we can to do well.”
The Celtic boss also provided an injury update for the rest of his squad. Thankfully, concerns over the club’s injuries are not as bad as first feared.
“Izaguirre, Odsonne and Simunovic are all fit and available.
“We’ll be ready for it. The players we’ve brought in have adapted well and are young and hungry for the game.”