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Brendan Rodgers is wary of facing one of the ‘great clubs in Spain’ when Celtic tackle Valencia in the Europa League last-32, but he suggests the tie is winnable for his Bhoys.
Celtic were paired with the Spanish giants in Monday’s draw. They’ll host Valencia in Glasgow on February 15 before travelling to the Mestalla a week later.
While Valencia are currently sitting 14th in La Liga, with just three wins from 16 games, Rodgers saw enough in last week’s Champions League win over Manchester United to know they are a strong outfit.
“Valencia are one of the great clubs in Spain. They have been in a bit of turmoil in the last few years,” said Rodgers. “But I saw them against Manchester United in the Champions League and they are a very good side.
They are what I would describe as a typical Spanish team. They are very good technically and tactically they know the game. It will be a very good test for us.”
Rodgers cited Sevilla’s recent Europa League successes as evidence of a La Liga side prioritising the competition and knows Celtic will be in for a tough time.
The Parkhead boss hopes that his team will be in a better spot come the spring to take on the challenge.
Asked if thought the double header was winnable for Celtic, Rodgers said: “Absolutely. That will be our mentality going into the game over the two legs. I think by the time it comes around in February we will be fresher and stronger as a squad.”
Valencia are 19.00 to win the Europa League this season, while Celtic are 81.00 to raise the trophy in Baku.