Former Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone has revealed he fancies Celtic to progress past Copenhagen in the Europa League knockout stages.
The goalkeeper is currently on loan from Reading with Danish side Esbjerg, and he kept a clean sheet as his side stunned Copenhagen with a 1-0 win last Friday.
According to the Daily Record, Mannone believes that while it will be a “tough” encounter, Celtic have the quality to beat the Danish giants across two legs.
It’ll be a tough game because Copenhagen are still one of the best teams in Denmark. They should expect a lot of balls into the box – you know how direct Copenhagen will be.
But Celtic are a strong side. I fancy them to go through to the next round. We had chances on the counter to win by more and should have been more clinical.
Unfortunately, we had to suffer until the very end but hopefully it won’t be like that for Celtic. European games are always tough. But Neil Lennon should watch our game. Because away from home at the Parken, it will be like how we played against Copenhagen at home.
READ CELTIC VERDICT
It’s intriguing to see Mannone back Celtic to beat Copenhagen, as his comments reveal his belief that the Danish side could be there for the taking after Esbjerg’s win last week.
Furthermore, his comments also reveal how Stale Solbakken’s side are likely to play against the Hoops.
Copenhagen dominated possession against Esbjerg despite falling to a 1-0 defeat, with the current Danish champions seeing 73 per cent of the ball (SofaScore), and it’s understandable to see Mannone suggest his side suffered as a result of that.
Therefore Copenhagen could well look to have the lion’s share of the ball across both legs with Celtic.
But as Mannone reveals, Esbjerg had chances on the counter attack and also missed a penalty in their 1-0 win (SofaScore).
Therefore if Celtic can dispossess their opponents and break quickly, there may be plenty of opportunities for them on Thursday.