Celtic - Inter Milan: Deila's men look for home advantage in tough Italian test

Although the UEFA Europa League is seen as the second competition of the European top flight, this week in Glasgow it is the former premier tournament, the European Cup, that people are reminiscing about. Why? Well another match between the 1967 finalists is upon us as Celtic take on Inter Milan at Parkhead on Thursday evening.

Celtic manager, Ronny Deila, will be hoping to repeat the feat of the Lisbon Lions as the new breed come head to head in competition, having played friendlies in 2011 and 2012.

At today's press conference, Deila outlined the importance of the game on his career saying, "I've had many big games and this is probably the biggest challenge." Yet Deila is feeling confident about his side going into the game, he said, "I have a good feeling, we have good togetherness and we are looking forward to the game."

Deila then focused on his opponents, Inter, saying they "have a lot of history and they have bought a lot of good players." He went on and said: "They have a lot of pace in the midfield and are aggresive. When they lose it they try to win it back so there will be a good tempo." 

In his press conference, Inter manager, Roberto Mancini, commented on his opponents. He said: "Celtic is a good team and play football very well. Celtic are a physical team but they are also a team that plays football. Our team decision will be made tomorrow." Mancini also commented on the world renowned atmosphere at Parkhead, saying, "It will be a great atmosphere tomorrow night and Celtic are right to use that to their advantage." 

There is a big question over if Kris Commons, Celtic's top scorer last season, will be able to play in the fixture. Deila told the press conference, "Commons trained today but we're not sure if he'll be fit tomorrow. If it's a gamble it's not worth it." Celtic have rotated their squad to cover for Commons' absence with new signings, Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong taking the wide positions with Stefan Johansen in an advanced attacking position. So it may be likely that Deila will stick with the same three behind the lone striker. 

Inter have not been in the best of form this season, and have come under pressure from their supporters. The Italian side have reacted well and won their last two matches, beating ten-man Atalanta 4-1 at the weekend.

However, they will be without on-loan striker Lukas Podolski from Arsenal, who is cup-tied having already featured in European competition earlier on in the season. They are expected to start ex-Bayern Munich winger, Xherdan Shaqiri in a forward role tomorrow. Another man who may feature is the crocked Nemanja Vidic, Mancini had this to say: "Vidic has been out because he was injured. He has been training and may play. He has been familiar with this type of football."

One thing is for sure, the sold-out 60,000 Celtic Park will definitely host what can be an invigorating game, with free flowing football from both sides. Ronny Deila has never took charge of a sell-out game at Parkhead, so it will be a game of new experiences for him as well as the new players. Although the match is in the Europa League, both teams won't be treating the match in that manner as each will be aiming to do well in the competition.  

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