Spartak Moscow - Celtic Preview: Both sides chasing their first win in Group G
The Russian outfit narrowly lost away to Barcelona while the Hoops were held at home to Benfica in the opening set of fixtures, and will now be looking to kick-start their campaign
By Shane Farrington
Kombarov, Suchy, Insaurralde, Kombarov Kallstrom, De Zeeuw
McGeady, Ari, Bilyaletdinov
Matthews, Lustig, Wilson, Izaguirre
Forrest, Wanyama, Brown, Mulgrew
Spartak Mosow boss Unai Emery faces the next two Champions League ties without first-choice goalkeeper Andriy Dykan after the 35-year-old damaged a shoulder joint in their 3-1 win over Amkar Perm. Sergei Pesyakov and Artyom Rebrov are battling it out for the starting berth, with Pesyakov most likely.
Captain Sergei Parshivlyuk, midfielder Romulo and striker Wellington also remain out, Former Everton man Diniyar Bilyaletdinov could come into the starting line-up as the Spaniard looks for more width from his side. There may also be a change upfront with Artem Dzyuba coming in for Emmanuel Emenike.
As for the visitors, Neil Lennon could opt to play just a sole front man with Gary Hooper poised to come in for on-loan Getafe man Miku. Hooper recently netted four goals for the club against Raith Rovers which could have convinced his manager to start him in Russia. Recently fit Georgios Samaras is also in contention.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Spartak Moscow have won just one of the last 14 Champions League home games, drawing five and losing eight.
- Celtic have never had a player sent off in a Champions League match, while Spartak have earned red cards in two of their last three games in the competition.
- Spartak scored with both of their shots on target against Barcelona on matchday one.
- Aiden McGeady (pictured right), joined Spartak from Celtic in 2010 for £9.5 million - the transfer fee made him the most expensive player ever to be sold by a Scottish club.
- Celtic were the only team in the Champions League who didn’t manage a single shot on target on matchday one.
- Excluding qualifiers, Celtic have won none of their last 26 away games in Europe, drawing six and losing 20.
- Celtic were the first British side to win the European Cup (now called the Champions League), when they beat Inter Milan 2-1 back in 1967. They also finished runners-up three years later.
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Top 3 Predictions
Spartak Moscow 2-0 Celtic
- 18.88 %
Spartak Moscow 2-1 Celtic
- 13.83 %
Spartak Moscow 1-2 Celtic
- 10.11 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||5 Dec 2012||Celtic 2 - Spartak Moscow 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||2 Oct 2012||Spartak Moscow 2 - Celtic 3|
|7 Dec 2013||Rostov 1 - Spartak Moscow 0||RUS1|
|1 Dec 2013||Spartak Moscow 6 - Volga Nizhny Novgorod 1||RUS1|
|23 Nov 2013||CSKA Moscow 1 - Spartak Moscow 0||RUS1|
|10 Nov 2013||Spartak Moscow 4 - Zenit 2||RUS1|
|3 Nov 2013||Spartak Moscow 1 - Lokomotiv Moscow 3||RUS1|
|-||Juan Manuel Insaurralde||Defender|
|20||Demy de Zeeuw||Midfielder|
The Republic of Ireland international will be looking for a good performance against his former side. On his day, the 26-year-old is almost unplayable and his ability to create chances out of nothing could be crucial against a solid Celtic backline. With two goals and three assists from nine matches in total so far this season, he’s in excellent form.
The front man was an unused substitute in Celtic’s opening Group G game but has been in prolific form since then. With chances likely to be limited, the former Scunthorpe United man will have to be clinical in front of goal and he will be hoping for decent service from wide players such as James Forrest.
Spartak showed plenty going forward in arguably the toughest possible match around - away at the Camp Nou - and could have too much firepower for their opponents, who may well be still left looking for their first win after the clash.