Ronny Deila: Celtic can beat ‘struggling’ Inter

Ronny Deila: Excited by tie. Picture: ReutersRonny Deila: Excited by tie. Picture: Reuters
Ronny Deila: Excited by tie. Picture: Reuters
RONNY Deila has welcomed Celtic’s Europa League round of 32 tie against Inter Milan and insists the Scottish champions can record another famous triumph against the Italian giants.

Yesterday’s draw in Nyon handed Celtic a reprise of the most famous fixture in their history, the 1967 European Cup final in Lisbon when Jock Stein’s side defeated Helenio Herrera’s Inter 2-1 to win the trophy.

The clubs also met in the semi-finals of the European Cup five years later, Celtic agonisingly losing in a penalty shoot-out at Parkhead after both legs of the tie finished goalless.

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Celtic will be at home for the first leg of the Europa League last 32 showdown on 19 February with the return taking place in the San Siro seven days later.

While Celtic manager Deila accepts the size of the task facing his team, he was also quick to point out Inter have diminished in quality since they were crowned European champions five seasons ago under Jose Mourinho.


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Now coached by former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, who returned for his second spell at the club last month, Inter are struggling in mid-table of Serie A this season.

“It’s going to be a very good match and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Deila. “We are meeting a big opponent but we always have a chance.

“I know Roberto Mancini is their manager now, that they have been struggling a bit for the last year or two and aren’t the team they were in 2010 when they won the Champions League.

“But they are a good team and it’s going to be a tough game. Everything is possible, however, and we have everything to play for. We will have to be at our best in both games to hopefully go through.

“The history adds to the match and every training exercise and match will be to prepare us as good as possible for the matches.”

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Inter, who most recently played at Parkhead in a pre-season friendly in 2012 to mark Celtic’s 125th birthday celebrations, have recently been linked with a January move for struggling Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.

Deila has his own plans for next month’s transfer window which he hopes will include the permanent signing of on-loan Manchester City striker John Guidetti. The Swede, who played under Mancini at City, was ineligible for Celtic’s Europa League group stage fixtures but will be able to play in the last 32 tie.


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