Sep 18, 2014 at 6pm UK at ​Red Bull Arena
SalzburgRed Bull Salzburg
2-2
Celtic
Alan (36'), Soriano (78')
Ulmer (10'), Hinteregger (91')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Mubarak (14'), Brown (60')
Ambrose (20'), Brown (39')

Preview: Red Bull Salzburg vs. Celtic

Preview: Red Bull Salzburg vs. Celtic
© Getty Images
Celtic begin their Europa League campaign with a trip to Red Bull Salzburg. Here, Sports Mole previews the encounter in Austria.

When Ronny Deila filled the Parkhead hotseat in June, it was the Champions League that dominated his thoughts. However, a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Maribor last month, having earlier been given a reprieve after a loss to Legia Warsaw, demoted the Scottish champions to the group stages of the Europa League.

Deila's side open up their campaign on Thursday night with a trip to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria - a country that has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for Celtic in years gone by.

The Bhoys have visited Austrian clubs on four occasions, but they are yet to win. Their best result was a 3-3 draw, which was achieved against Rapid Vienna in 2009.

However, Celtic were boosted at the weekend by the return to action of captain Scott Brown from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him since pre-season, and the midfielder is expected to feature again at the Red Bull Arena.

Despite that positive news, Deila will have to make do without defenders Adam Matthews, Mikael Lustig and Charlie Mulgrew, all of whom are still recovering from complaints.

Meanwhile, it is anticipated that Salzburg's attack will be spearheaded by Spanish frontman Jonathan Soriano, who has scored 11 goals in seven Austrian Bundesliga outings this season. His tally includes a five-goal haul in an 8-0 victory over SV Grodig last month. The 28-year-old was also the leading goalscorer in last term's Europa League with eight strikes to his name.

The hosts, who are coached by Adolf Hutter, won all six of their tournament group games last season, which matched their achievement of the 2009-10 campaign.

Recent form

Salzburg:

Celtic: WDLLDW

Possible starting lineups

Salzburg: Walke; Schwegler, Ankersen, Hinteregger, Ramalho; Ilsanker, Leitgeb, Kampl, Sabitzer; Soriano, Alan

Celtic: Gordon; Izaguirre, Van Dijk, Denayer, Ambrose; Brown, Kayal, McGregor, Commons, Tonev; Scepovic

Sports Mole says: 1-0

Manager Ronny Deila of Celtic Glasgow reacts on the touchline during the Pre Season Friendly between SK Rapid Wien and Celtic Glasgow at Gerhard-Hanappi-Stadium on July 6, 2014
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