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Celtic given European boost by Inter Milan squad omissions

| 04.02.2015

In 1967 Celtic fans celebrated the club’s most famous victory – a 2-1 triumph over Inter Milan in the final of the European Cup that saw the Hoops team christened the Lisbon Lions – and fans could be instore for a repeat, of sorts, in the Europa League next month.

The Bhoys are up against the Nerazzurri again in Europe and though the game is unlikely to be greeted with the same fanfare as that previous famous encounter it could yet prove to be another glorious night for Celtic.

Ronny Deila’s team are 19/10 to win the first leg at Celtic Park and remain 80/1 outsiders to win the tournament, according to the latest Ladbrokes odds.

But those prices may look a little more palatable in the wake of recent events with Inter opting to omit two of their most notable attacking stars from the team’s roster for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Former Southampton striker Pablo Osvaldo is the first of these two notable absentees, though the Italy international’s exclusion is unsurprising given the recent reports claiming he had clashed with teammate Mauro Icardi.

However the other omission is somewhat more shocking with on-loan Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski set to play no part in the competition after being left off the Nerazzurri’s list.

Inter boss Roberto Mancini has instead opted to include fellow new boy Davide Santon, who arrived at the club from Newcastle United on loan, in his squad with no place for Podolski in the Inter ranks.

A small victory perhaps but with Celtic keeping hold of the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Scott Brown and Kris Commons during the January transfer window, hopes will be high that the Hoops can cause a shock against an Inter side currently languishing in 13th in the Serie A standings.

There were ugly scenes after the Italian club’s 3-1 loss to Sassuolo at the weekend with Icardi and teammate Fredy Guarin clashing with angry supporters.

Celtic, by contrast, are beginning to hit top gear, having sealed a place in the final of the Scottish League Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win over arch rivals Rangers in the semi-finals.

It’s all shaping up to be a memorable couple of nights in Europe for the Hoops.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.