Champions League: Celtic fans can unsettle opponents - Deila

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland
Celtic v Inter Milan
Celtic fans can create a formidable atmosphere at home games

Celtic supporters can strike fear into the hearts of Champions League opponents Qarabag, according to Ronny Deila.

Deila's side face the Azerbaijan side in Wednesday's first leg of their third round qualifier at Celtic Park.

And the Celtic boss believes a 60,000 capacity crowd can galvanise his side and spook their opponents.

"The fans are so important to get the intensity into the game that we need," he said.

Deila has urged the fans to replicate the atmosphere generated in last season's 3-3 draw in the Europa League against Inter Milan. Celtic lost 4-3 on aggregate but Deila wants the supporters to raise the decibel level once again.

"We have to create the performance we did against Inter Milan, and then we also need the fans in Celtic Park on Wednesday - that's so unbelievably important," he said.

Celtic celebrate a goal against Inter Milan in the Europa League
Deila says the Celtic supporters can inspire his side in Europe

"To play at Celtic Park against 60,000 fans is the worst thing you can do as an opponent. We have to use everything we have to make a good result in the first leg."

Asked if the fans could strike fear into the Qarabag players, Deila said: "Of course. It strikes fear into everybody. We have the best fans in the world and we have to show this on Wednesday."

However, the Celtic boss warned that Qarabag would prove dangerous opponents over the two legs.

"It's a big, big step up. We're talking about a very good football team here who has done very well in the Europa League. They beat Dnipro, who were in the final, and Inter Milan as well. We have to be at the Inter Milan level to beat them and that's going to be a fantastic challenge for us."

Meanwhile, despite continued speculation linking defender Virgil Van Dijk with a move to the English Premier League, Deila said there were currently no bids for his players.