Champions League: Ronny Deila backs Celtic squad strength

By David CurrieReporting Scotland presenter
Stuart Armstrong, Scott Brown and Leigh Griffiths model Celtic's new kit
Celtic players modelled the club's new European kit on Tuesday
Champions League third qualifying round, first leg: Celtic v Qarabag
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow Date: Wednesday, 29 July Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: BBC Radio Scotland 810 MW (no online rights), live text on BBC Sport website

Ronny Deila says his Celtic side have enough quality to beat Azerbaijani champions Qarabag in the Champions League third qualifying round.

Celtic lost heavily to Legia Warsaw at the same stage last season only to be reinstated later, but Deila said: "It's a totally different situation.

"We've good togetherness in the team."

Deila had only been in charge a few weeks when Celtic lost to Legia, who were later thrown out for fielding an ineligible player in the second leg.

Celtic subsequently lost to Maribor in the play-offs to reach the Champions League group stages, dropping them into the Europa League, but Deila is bullish about their chances 12 months on.

"We have gone through the pre-season with very little injuries and won a lot of games," Deila said before Wednesday's first leg at Celtic Park.

"It's going to be tough but we have the experience and the quality in the team to make it through."

Celtic's Kris Commons, Ronny Deila and John Collins chat during training
Ronny Deila (second left) is happier with his squad's preparations this summer

Deila says there are similarities in the playing styles of Celtic and Qarabag, who have won their domestic league two seasons in a row.

"They have consistency," he said. "They have had the same coach for a number of years. They also have good individuals but it is all about the team and the offensive play - a lot of penetration.

"We know about Qarabag and have to respect them. But, in the end, it is about us."

Like Celtic, Qarabag played in the Europa League group stage last season, when they finished behind Inter Milan and Dnipro.

Inter went on to knock out the Scottish champions in the last 32 while Dnipro reached the final.

"It is a big test for us and it is at Celtic Park, so I'm excited," added Deila. "We meet a very good team that have good results in Europe from last year.

"We had the same in the Europa League and it is going to be two teams who want to reach the Champions League."

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