Thursday’s match will be historic at Celtic Park, not only have we not played Fenerbahçe in UEFA competition but we’ve also never faced Turkish opposition in any UEFA tournament.
Fenerbahçe on the other hand have played once against Scottish opposition when they dumped Rangers out of the Champions League qualifiers 2-1 on aggregate back in 2001.
It should prove to be an intriguing tie on Thursday night. Celtic will have home advantage of course but Fenerbahçe have won all six of their UEFA Europa League group stage away fixtures to date – five of them by 1-0 scoreline. The Turkish side certainly know how to grind out a result away from home.
With Simunovic still out injured it will be Efe Ambrose and Dedryk Boyaya starting at centre back for Celtic. The pairing doing well so far but will meet their biggest test when the Turks come to town.
Fenerbahçe’s new forward Robin van Persie has yet to score a UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League goal in 11 appearances. He will certainly be looking to break that particular duck.
Ronny Deila will come up against Fenerbahçe coach Vítor Pereira who was André Villas-Boas’s assistant at Porto when they won the Europa League 2010/11.
Celtic Park won’t quite be a sell-out as it would be on a Champions League night but their will still be plenty of noise. However seeing some of the Fenerbahçe fans displays and antics I’m sure the Turks will be use to it.
After coming so close to victory against Ajax, Celtic have a real chance to set down a marker in the group with a win.