Former winners Celtic are amongst a number of big name teams already fighting for their lives in this season’s UEFA Champions League.
Celtic travel to Russia desperate to overturn a 1-0 deficit, but with opponents Dinamo Moscow on a fine run of form, defender Gary Caldwell knows it will take something special to emerge victorious. In addition, the Scottish giants have never won a European tie after losing at home and Caldwell said: “We understand that it’s a big game. You have that feeling in your stomach.
“It would be big for us to get through but I don’t think it’s about making history, it’s about getting through this stage of the competition and trying to qualify for the Champions League.”
Also in danger of early elimination are Sporting Lisbon who travel to Dutch club FC Twente with the scores level at 0-0. The first leg became a one sided affair after FC Twente were reduced to 10 men when their goalkeeper, Sander Boschker, was dismissed after just 27 minutes. However, on loan Liverpool goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov saved the resultant penalty and proceeded to secure a clean sheet for the visitors.
After the game Mihaylov said: “It was very hard for me as I came on without having any preparation. I just put my gloves on and went in goal. Of course the penalty save gave me some confidence.
“Now we have the second leg at home and we have the chance to decide the tie in front of our own fans.”
Elsewhere, last season’s UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk face a difficult trip to Romanian outfit FC Timi?oara, having only managed a 2-2 draw in the home leg. The Romanian runners up have little history in Europe but it seems a good Champions League bet that they will fancy their chances courtesy of two away goals from speedy striker Gheorghe Bucur.