Astana boss: Celtic are 99 per cent through to Champions League group stages

By dsguser
21 August 2017

Astana boss Stanimir Stoilov is not expecting his side to perform a football miracle against Celtic in Kazakhstan on Tuesday night.

The Hoops are leading 5-0 from the first leg of the Champions League play-off in Glasgow and are all but certain to go through to the group stage for the second season in a row under Brendan Rodgers.

Asked if he believed in the prospect of a something extraordinary occurring at the Astana Arena, Bulgarian Stoilov said: "I have to be realistic. Celtic are 99 per cent through to the group stages of the Champions League.

"Our chances are not so great but anything can happen.

"But to be realistic, Celtic will be going through.

"Celtic can get through the group stages but it depends on who the opponents are after that as to how far they can go."

When Stoilov was referred to Barcelona's remarkable comeback against Paris St German last season when they won 6-1 in the Nou Camp after losing the first game 4-0, he was no more optimistic.

He said: "Barcelona can do these kind of unreal things - we don't.

"But 5-0 is the best motivation for our players. We want to play well at home.

"I think tomorrow will be a good match. We will do everything to win the game. We always play to win at home - we don't want to lose.

"The team is feeling really stressed after last week so we need to try to do much better. We made mistakes in the first game but there was five shots and five goals.

"The team has prepared very well and we will make it a good game."

Midfielder Ivan Maevski is simply hoping to give the Astana fans a home win to cheer.

"The game in Glasgow was not so good for us and of course it was a bad result," he said.

"Everyone wants to win by more than five goals but we have to be realistic. We have to win the match to make the fans happy, because they always support us.

"Celtic are a really good club but they beat us so badly because of the mistakes we made. But the game is in the past now so we have to concentrate on this one.

"But we need to make sure we don't go all out attack in all positions because Celtic are very good at using the spaces on the counter and punishing teams.

"We have to stick to our own game."

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