MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 23:22:10
Oct 1, 2015 at 8.05pm UK at ​Celtic Park
Celtic
2-2
Fenerbahce
Griffiths (28'), Commons (32')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Fernandao (44', 48')

Preview: Celtic vs. Fenerbahce

Sports Mole previews the Europa League clash between Celtic and Fenerbahce.

Celtic will look to take a significant step towards reaching the knockout phase of the Europa League as they take on Fenerbahce at Celtic Park.

However, the Turkish giants travel to Glasgow looking to pick up their first points of the group stages after a shock defeat against Molde earlier this month.


Celtic

Celtic manager Ronny Deila looks on during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying play off first leg match, between Celtic FC and Malmo FF at Celtic Park on August 19, 2015© Getty Images

Celtic's season has hardly gone to plan so far, suffering an early exit from the Champions League and currently trailing Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.

However, with their battling draw against Ajax in their opening group game, a win over Fenerbahce at Parkhead could put the Hoops in a strong position to qualify.

Manager Ronny Deila has admitted to being "irritated" by his side's inability to score during their goalless draw with newly-promoted Hearts.

Celtic look to be addressing their striking options as a result, with Carlton Cole currently training at the club as he tries to earn a contract with the Glasgow giants, although coach John Kennedy has revealed that the Hoops have not made a decision regarding the ex-West Ham United frontman.

While Deila continues to run the rule over Cole, it will likely fall to top-scorer Leigh Griffiths, who had netted 10 times this season, to carry their goal threat.

However, the Celtic boss will hope that the indifferent form of the Champions League qualifiers, which included a narrow win over FK Qarabag and defeat to Malmo, is in the past.

Recent form: WWWLWD
Recent form (all competitions): WLDWWD


Fenerbahce

Fenerbahce's Luis Nani celebrates after scoring a goal during the Europa League football match between Fenerbahce and Molde on September 17, 2015 at the Ulker Fenerbahce Sukru saracoglu stadium in istanbul. © Getty Images

Ex-Rangers star Arthur Numan has given some words of encouragement to Celtic in recent days, suggesting that the Hoops could be facing Fenerbahce at the right time.

Reports in Turkey suggest that big-money summer signing Robin van Persie has fallen out with head coach Vitor Pereira and Numan, who was part of Bert van Marwijk's coaching staff when he managed the Netherlands.

Van Persie has struggled to reproduce his form of previous years, have failed to inspire his team during their Champions League qualifier, which saw them crash out after a 3-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk last month.

Their Europa League group campaign also started with defeat, as Fener conceded three goals at home against Norwegian side Molde, with only a Nani strike in response at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

However, the Turkish side's record in this tournament has been good in previous years, having progressed from the group stages on every occasion.

Fenerbahce even reached the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2013, but lost 3-2 on aggregate to eventual runners-up Benfica.

Recent form: DLWWL
Recent form (all competitions): DWWLWL


Team News

Manchester Uniteds international striker Dutch Robin Van Persie juggles with the ball after signing a contract with the Turkish Super Lig giants football club Fenerbahce at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium in Istanbul on July 14, 2015© Getty Images

With Efe Ambrose set to begin a domestic suspension for his red card against Hearts, the defender could start the game at Celtic Park.

Deila's main selection dilemma will be what changes to make, if any, with Stefan Johansen likely to be in contention for a recall.

Meanwhile, Van Persie has largely been used as a substitute in recent games and could continue on the bench, despite scoring against city rivals Besiktas last time out.

Nani, who scored in the 3-1 defeat against Molde, and Raul Meireles could start for the Yellow Canaries.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Ambrose, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Commons, Rogic, Forrest; Griffiths

Fenerbahce possible starting lineup:
Demirel; Kjaer, Topal, Tufan, Fernandao, Meireles, Nani, Ozbayrakli, Alves, Markovic, Erkin


Head To Head

This will be the first time that the two sides have met.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Celtic 1-0 Fenerbahce

The bookmakers are struggling to separate the two teams and Fener will have a point to prove after their defeat on matchday one. However, home advantage and a raucous atmosphere at Parkhead on European nights might help the Hoops sneak a win.


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Molde's Tommy Hoiland (L) celebrates with a teammate after scoring a goal during the Europa League football match between Fenerbahce and Molde on September 17, 2015 at the Ulker Fenerbahce Sukru saracoglu stadium in istanbul.
Read Next:
Result: Molde stun Fenerbahce in Europa League
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Celtic20133446143242
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